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Tuesday 17 July 2012

Frank’s Twitter Over-Manning

[Update at end of post]

The saga of folks apparently procuring Twitter followers in order to artificially bolster their following continues: first there was Mark Clarke, now surplus to requirements as a Tory PPC, then there was another from the so-called Trade Union Reform Campaign (TURC), which does not want to reform Trade Unions but eliminate them altogether, Andre Walker.

So whose are these Twitter followers?

Yesterday came the case of Raheem Kassam, he of the Henry Jackson Society, Student Rights, and The Commentator, who, unlike Clarke and Walker, immediately owned up and announced his commitment to removing his less than genuine followers. But by making his unequivocal admission, Kassam has unwittingly dropped another offender in the mire.
Page after page after page of them

For today’s large but dubious looking Twitter following, we return to the alumni of the Young Britons’ Foundation (YBF), where Mark Clarke is listed as “Director of outreach”, which included reaching out to tens of thousands of Twitter followers who may not even exist, and if they do, wouldn’t know the former “Tatler Tory” from Adam. So who else at the YBF is indulging in the practice?
Yes, they all belong to Frank Manning

Step forward Frank Manning, the YBF’s “Campaigns Coordinator”. Who he? Well, he’s worked for Big Brother Watch, a “campaign” by those involved with the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), and also for the Leadership Institute, which is perhaps the principal inspiration for the YBF. And he has amassed a Twitter following of over 11,500, which on the face of it looks most impressive.
But that first impression quickly evaporates as a scan is made of Manning’s followers. Unlike Clarke and Walker, though, there are few of the kind that have not put out an Avatar photo, and most have some sort of bio. But what predominates the Manning following is the kind of folks that Raheem Kassam has conceded he bought to make his numbers look better.
So there are lots of Justin Bieber and One Direction fans, and yet more advertising “follow me and I’ll follow back”. Many apparently do not have English as their first language. Some are plugging records. Very few give the impression that they would be even slightly interested in the work of the YBF, or would even know or care what the organisation was about.
But what puts the final nail in this particular coffin is that Kassam had more of the same, and admitted they were false. So, Frank Manning, will you follow the example of Raheem Kassam and own up, or do we get another Andre Walker (who suggested he may take legal action and denounced me as a liar)? Or will it be another Mark Clarke silence?
 Yes, there are lots of them

Either way, that’s another one caught bang to rights.

[UPDATE 1850 hours: Frank Manning has taken to Twitter to defend himself, telling all those followers "Just to point out to those casing aspersions, I have never purchased Twitter followers or paid anyone to get me Twitter followers". And here is his Tweet:
So perhaps a big boy did it and ran away. Or maybe they just materialised in response to his superior intellect and insights. Or something.

Frank, you've got a load of followers the kind of which Raheem Kassam had, and he owned up to buying them. They didn't appear by magic.

And I have news for the rest of the right-wing froth brigade: I've already caught another two Twitter accounts at it, I've taken screen shots, and the results will bring ridicule and humiliation, which those involved so richly deserve]


Anonymous said...

A good deal of those "followers" seem to quote #teamfollowback or #followback. It looks as though that's a fairly easy way to get "followers" without much effort.

Anonymous said...

I'm being followed by "the real Ecuador" for no apparent reason (I have no connection with S America). Should I be worried?

Anonymous said...

I'm being followed by "the Real Ecuador" for no apparent reason (I have never tweeted about s America). Should I be worried?

Tim Fenton said...

One follower is no big deal. Actually, five or ten isn't. But when they get into the hundreds, that's something different.