350,000 Fake Twitter Accounts Discovered in One Single Fake Network on Twitter


Researchers looking into the extent and intentions of fake accounts on Twitter have discovered vast networks of fake accounts - one of them containing 350,000 members. One of the researchers, Dr. Zhou, writes "What is really surprising is our questioning on the whole effort of bot detection in the past years...Suddenly we feel vulnerable and don't know much: how many more are there? What do they want to do?"

Sounds like an extraterrestrial encounter kinda, eh? You can get more details and opinions on WebmasterWorld.

350k is a LOT of accounts! They can be used to boost follower counts, sell followers, promote spam, sow chaos, etc. If you've used Twitter, you know what a volatile place it can be - just 5 accounts working in conjunction are enough to wreak havoc on the platform.

I know people deride Twitter all the time because it isn't the most profitable business, because they seem to have difficulty moderating their platform, and...well, I think a lot of people simply don't understand Twitter. A lot of people who don't use it also love to talk about how pointless it seems. But Twitter IS useful for some people - journalists and artists are two groups I can think of off the top of my head. And some people DO use it to stay in touch with large communities and get news! Things spread quickly on Twitter. That's a benefit of the platform.

Twitter's important. I hope they can get this problem sorted out.