Tuesday, December 30, 2014

34 #TwitterDummies clogging my inbox

A few of my articles get published in various online newsletters, all of which have the same format. I get notifications that X Daily is out, with a few writers mentioned. The mentioned writers will often retweet or favorite them.  When they do, I send them an introductory tweet: “I’ve stopped being a #Twitterpig!:  http://current-news-you-can-use.blogspot.com/2014/11/ive-stopped-being-twitter-pig.html #writer, #SocialMediaMarketing” 

I got one on December 29th from Jason Sullock @UK_Marketer:  

I was pretty sure it was my #TwitterPig article, and it was.  I sent him my standard follow-up of “Thanks for publishing #TwitterPig!  Would you rather read about: #water; #gardening; #litter; #homeremedies or #marijuana?” And I continued up my e-mail list.

It was followed almost immediately by a block of 34 Twitter notifications from people with all-lower-case names, which I had noticed previously because it was so weird.  It got weirder once I started opening them.

They all had American first names and Russian last names.  They were all favoriting the above tweet, in which none of them were mentioned.  None of them had any bio or follow information.  Their photos sometimes didn’t fit their names.  I know this is common, but these seemed particularly wrong, like first names, last names and photos were randomly chosen by a computer. 

I sent out a few tweets to these accounts before I decided that they were dummies.  I started just looking at profiles, which takes considerable time, to confirm my suspicions.  I have to admit that I did not look at all of them, because it was tedious and I kept seeing no exceptions.

At first, I thought that these dummies must have been made up by Mr. Sullock to amplify his advertising.  But considering how annoying all of these dummy favorites were, that would be silly, especially since his chosen writers would be the ones most annoyed.  So perhaps they were the work of an enemy, following his notifications and then having a troop of dummies favoriting them to annoy all the people he'd notified.

When I last looked, there were 54 “favorites” attached to that tweet. I expected another 20 or more dummies in my inbox today, but I am thankful to see that they are not there, just the usual people responding to my Tweets and perhaps a few more followers and mentions.