Saturday, August 8, 2009

Twitterfail: multiple accounts, same message

The latest observed twitterfail was a blatant form of multiple accounts posting the same message. There are many ways to do this, I just happen to be unlucky enough to be following two accounts engaging in this practice.

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NOTE: Rather than use twitter.com I use a twitter client (Nambu) which means the messages are shown as they would on twitter.com. In any case see how two accounts are speaking the same message one right after another. See it once and it might be a coincidence .. but ..

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I saw the first one and immediately saw several more. Hurm, I thought, what's up with that?

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First let's ponder why these accounts might be doing this. Clutching for straws... I think the reasoning might be two accounts are better than one. There's a line of thinking in twitter marketing which says to gather the largest number of followers, and you'll get the greatest reward. It's a numbers game where you suppose that m% of your followers will click on the link you send out, n% of those will take a desired action based on the page you send them to, and therefore the more followers the the bigger is the (m*n)% number who take the action you want them to take. The next conclusion from this is 2 accounts full of followers are even more followers to connive into taking the action you want them to take.

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Maybe. Or maybe not. It's true the theory is out there that more followers means bigger results. Hence there's a big push to get more followers, and people are selling each other on systems guaranteed(*) to produce more followers. Never mind that no sane person could possibly track the ramblings of 10,000 or 100,000 people, the quest for bigger results means more followers.

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Funny thing is a day or two ago I was pondering a very similar strategy. It's so easy to do this in a stealthier way. The problem in this case is it's easily detectable. The owner of these two accounts is simply tweeting the exact same message to the two (or more) accounts s/he owns, AT THE SAME TIME. The way to make this stealthy is to spread out the tweeting. The simple way to do that is to randomly select (or randomly generate) tweets for each account each tweets are generated. That means account A gets message 12 and account B gets message 67. Further one would collect up enough messages so the randomly selected tweets have little chance of overlapping or otherwise being detected.

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