Really excellent piece. I'm glad this knowledge is becoming more mainstream.
He had me at, "There’s just one thing about Santiago Swallow that you won’t easily find online: I made him up." lolz
Great article - surprised at how truly easily this can be set up. If you look through Kevin's/Santiago's site I particularly like the fake blog posts that hint at the reality of it all including the post 'On the Internet - Nobody knows your a bot'.
Yeah. I knew it's possible to do all that, but didn't realize it was quite that quick and easy.
It's almost a shame that Twitter took the profile down so quickly. It would have been interesting to benchmark the various tools which measure influence and credibility (Klout, Kred, Peer Index, Status People, etc) against a known fake.
this is also going to get dangerous/weird if people starting "outing" fake followers - kind of like negative SEO, what if someone was to buy a 50k follower fiver gig for their competitor who has 1000, etc?
Hmm. The similarities with negative SEO got me thinking; the similarities don't end there. Evaluating the Twitter graph is kind of similar to evaluating web pages. A Twitter account is like a page, and following is like linking to another page. I wonder what the basic pagerank algorithm would produce for the Twitter graph...
Thanks for posting this, that is a great site in general.
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