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The (F)Law of Fake Followers: How Buying Internet Popularity Could Endanger All Social Media. Presented by: Andrew M. Hinkes, Esq. @ propelforward www.ediscoveryreporter.com. What do Mitt Romney, Comedian Dan N ainian and British Law Firm Blavo & Co. have in common?. Busted!

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the f law of fake followers how buying internet popularity could endanger all social media

The (F)Law of Fake Followers:How Buying Internet Popularity Could Endanger All Social Media

Presented by:

Andrew M. Hinkes, Esq.

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

what do mitt romney comedian dan n ainian and british law firm blavo co have in common
What do Mitt Romney, Comedian Dan Nainian and British Law Firm Blavo & Co. have in common?
  • Busted!
    • All were caught with suspicious jumps in their Twitter follower counts as a result of buying followers
      • Romney- 100k new twitter followers in a weekend.
      • Nainan- admitted to buying 220k followers
    • NY Times: “Worst Kept Secret in the blogosphere”
so what are we selling here
So, what are we selling here?
  • Likes, Views, Follows
  • How much?
    • As little as a penny per according to Will Mitchell, Clear Presence Media
    • Average price $18/1000 follows- Barracuda Labs
what do you get for your pennies

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

What do you get for your pennies?
  • Bot or fake profile vs. targeted follower
  • Fake/Real?
  • Twitter is especially vulnerable
why are fakes a problem

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

Why are fakes a problem?
  • The Hans & Franz Theory:
  • Lying isn’t so bad… right?
down the rabbit hole http fakefollowerstwitter com fake popular on twitter is it wrong

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

Down the rabbit hole…http://fakefollowerstwitter.com/fake-popular-on-twitter-is-it-wrong
slide7

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

Down the rabbit hole…Part 2http://fakefollowerstwitter.com/fake-popular-on-twitter-is-it-wrong

Who would do such a thing?:

slide8

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

Down the rabbit hole…Part 3http://fakefollowerstwitter.com/fake-popular-on-twitter-is-it-wrong

Category 1- “Creative” people:

“A lo [sic] of creative people think that the only thing needed to gain fame is talent and for most of them, paying to be fake famous would is considered cheating or being dishonest towards their artsy fans and followers. Now the minority of them would actually understand the marketing side of it and be willing to pay to get fake twitter followers to get the ball rolling and look more credible, but they would keep it secret to not offend their fellow artists and not be judged as cheaters as well.”

slide9

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

Down the rabbit hole…Part 4http://fakefollowerstwitter.com/fake-popular-on-twitter-is-it-wrong

Category 2- Entrepreneurs, Businesses and Companies

“…They understand that having zero followers on their Twitter account shows their new potential customers that their business is a startup. No one wants to risk their money doing business with a new company, everyone would rather deal with an established company that built their name and reputation. The good old business saying “Fake it til you make it” is pretty self-explanatory in this situation.

Paying to be fake popular on Twitter and having buying followers that will fake follow their account makes complete sense to them, this would have for effect to make heir brand look more established and gain trust from their new potential customers, increasing their brand credibility and most likely increasing their conversion rates. They not only buy fake twitter followers but would also do it on Facebook and Youtube, creating a whole marketing campaign of fake popularity which, if used in moderation and in conjunction with classic marketing methods, would definitely help increase their revenues.”

slide10

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

The Rabbit Hole is not the Best Part of Town…

The Downside to Buying Fakes:

a. Bots don’t shop or talk

b. Account slide

c. Disconnect between purchased platform and other platform

d. Boobytrapping/ “The Critical Boomerang”

e. False and Unprofessional Brand Representation

f. Is it really working?

g. SpearPhishing

slide11

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

Twitter

  • Twitter is a revolutionary platform that enables a level of instantaneous uncensored global communication, with massive commercial implications
  • Tremendous growth in corporate spending to create and tap into new markets-
    • Duke Fuqua School of Business CMO Study- expected tripling of expenditures in marketing social media
  • Anything that places the quality of crowd-sourced endorsement as an indicator of effectiveness of social media marketing into question could negatively impact the entire commercial ecosystem and kill growth opportunities
slide12

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

Risks of Fake Followers

  • Waste a ton of money for no return
  • If you’re selling, get sued by Twitter
  • If you’re buying, lose your account privileges
  • Read the fine print
slide13

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

Twitter vsSkootle Corp.

Sued Skootle in Northern District of California Federal Court alleging breach of contract, unfair or deceptive business practices, and fraud related to use of fake Twitter accounts

slide14

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

Your account is on the line

http://buy-more-fans.com/terms-and-conditions

slide15

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

You are agreeing to indemnify them!

http://intertwitter.com/terms-conditions/

slide16

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

What if you thought you bought real followers but got fakes?

  • FDUTPA/FTC Act
    • Interstate Commerce- Federal Court
  • Fraudulent Inducement
  • Breach of Contract
slide17

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com

Twitter, heal thyself

  • Twitter needs to step up reporting and response
  • Change its system
    • Caps on follows for those who don’t tweet
    • Require periodic validation
    • Monitor sudden irrational activity surges

C. Require authorization or a password to buy followers for a Twitter account

who has the first question

Who has the First Question?

Presented by:

Andrew M. Hinkes, Esq.

@propelforward

www.ediscoveryreporter.com