Recently, I received a list that included the “Top Fake Artists” who had bought followers on Twitter. It included many widely known electronic music DJs, with their stage names and Twitter accounts.

Wait a minute! This is a very serious issue. You’re making information that could be very damaging, public. Is this damage really necessary? When you’re prepared to make such a claim, you’d better be 100% sure of what you’re saying and make sure that your source is reliable enough to put your credibility, name and reputation at stake. Please, don’t be that kind of person!

Something doesn’t add up

As a result of this, I started testing with brands, famous people, regular users and even my own clients, using a tool called Status People. This tool supposedly measures the level of “fake” fans that a user may have in Twitter. I was surprised that, according to this, many relevant, famous people with a large number of followers have many “fakes” in their accounts. For instance, Piqué had 30% “fakes” and Josef Ajram had 50%. Thirty percent “fakes” of 4 million fans? Fifty percent “fakes” in 120,000 followers? Something just doesn’t add up.

Another part of the figures shows inactive followers, which are also a high percentage of many accounts. OK, but my question is: What do they base their calculations on to say whether a user is active or inactive? And how do they determine who is a fake?

You cannot measure what’s not in your reach

I contacted the service to ask whether their tool was 100% reliable. They told me that their tool follows every tweet made by a user in their timeline as they cannot access the Twitter database. Of course they can’t. What this means is that this type of tool follows every tweet and if a specific user publishes nothing in a few days, they configure their account to “protect tweets” or if it is based on location (the tool doesn’t use geolocation), they define their user as inactive. Does this add up? It doesn’t to me.

Ego-system tools

I think this is a clear example of what is causing social media disruption, making the ego-system we live in bigger, distracting us and preventing us from doing the work that really matters, doing something. These tools, such as Klout, PeerIndex and a few others, simply try to get users to subscribe so they can store their information. And what’s more, some of them even try to get you to pay for the service!

Forget about scores, ranks, points, bonus points or any other classification method. They’re just trying to fit you into a system. Once they have you, they’ll forget about you and try to find other sheep to get into the herd.

Bonus: If you were wondering what the result of my “fake” analysis was, I did it while I wrote this. I wasn’t going to — but then I though it would be fun. So, here you are: 6% “fakes,” 25% inactive and 69% active.

This guest post was written by Isra Garcia.

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4 Responses to “Should you be sweating your “fake” follower rating?”

  1. David Spark says:

    As I said previously, I don't care if some of my Twitter followers are fake. I've got fake friends in real life too.

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