I've been getting a steady stream of press releases about so-called "social media experts" lately, usually people I've never heard of but who I'm assured have "mastered the art" of "spreading the word" and "getting the message out" via social media platforms. Typically, these self-proclaimed experts have hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook which presumably they acquired thanks to their social media savvy.
As recently as six months ago, I would have had to take these claims at face value. While it's no secret that you can buy fake followers across social media platforms, until recently there was no easy way to know for sure. Thanks to a plucky little London-based start up called Status People however, I can now do a quick check of these so-called experts by typing their Twitter handle into a search engine and through the magic of algorithms, it gives me a breakdown of their fake, real and inactive followers.
While there is nothing illegal about faking your status online, I would argue that this kind of posturing or puffery is unethical. These fakers are usually either flogging their professional services to unsuspecting companies and individuals and/or hyping books they've written.
Tools like Status People's Fake Follower Check and others like it are increasingly being integrated into social media dashboards. It makes you wonder how long it will take these self-proclaimed experts to catch on. Have a go! You might be surprised to see who's faking it!
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