It was a kind of French Connection II moment this morning – although the Gene Hackman characterisation of “Popeye” Doyle is way more handsome that me – when, having caught more than one right-winger in possession of a dubious number of Twitter followers, I log in and find that some kind spammer has done it to me, rather in the way Tory MP Louise Mensch was targeted earlier this week.
The number of accounts that follow Zelo Street had been growing, but gradually, and was at around 965, give or take the odd one or two. At first I was just flicking through the recent traffic – especially that concerning the Twitter Joke Trial, which has now seen common sense prevail – but then realised that the follower number was wrong. It had increased overnight to around 19,400.
So Twitter have been notified, and what else I can do I’m not sure (all sensible suggestions are, as ever, welcome). It’s clear that whoever is behind the spamming has gone upmarket: none of those long lists of Brazilian or Indian names with no photos or Twitter bios that blew the cover of Mark Clarke and Andre Walker – these look to be English speaking, with both photos and bios.
Which suggests that someone has such a high regard for me that they were prepared to shell out moderately serious dosh to accomplish the deed – well, ten to twenty US Dollars, maybe, tops – and I’m afraid that rules me right out. Here on Zelo Street we don’t spend money on anything we don’t have to, and if unavoidable, there’s always negotiation (joke, folks, lighten up).
In the meantime, I have to agree with the serially tenacious Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads that for this to have happened, I must have put some noses seriously out of joint somewhere. Where that may have been is not hard to imagine, but if any of the sad convocation of yah-boo boys out there on the right think that this jolly clever jape will see me off, they’ve got another think coming.
And as to why I Tweeted as soon as the increase in followers was known, well, there is no point in being other than open and honest. Failing to adhere to this simple rule is what has consistently sunk the right-wingers, and the notification also has the advantage of negating any line that holds that I must have done it myself because I’m keeping schtum.
All of this means that it’s going to end up being a pretty fruitless exercise and a waste of money for some buffoon. And with that, it’s time to get a nice cuppa brewing. More later.
What is the purpose of this? To give you a fake audience? To be able to point at you, to say "look, they have bought followers"? Or to provide a smokescreen for the Tories who've genuinely done this to bolster their credibility? It's possible I may have answered my own question.
What is the point of buying you a fake audience? Is it to be able to later discredit you as a fraud? Is it designed to unsettle, threaten? Or is it a smokescreen to allow the politicians who have sincerely bought followers to create the impression that it's a normal thing?
"Log" has it.
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