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Mining Twitter gold, at five bucks a pop
Mining Twitter gold, at five bucks a pop

Not to brag or anything, but I probably have more Twitter followers than you. I wish I could say I earned them all with my erudite tweets. The truth is, I purchased many of them. A couple of months ago I ran an experiment to see how easy it would be to up my online profile. As a data scientist, I was intrigued by the notion that not all followers are earned: There is a lively Internet business in selling followers — specially created fake accounts on Twitter or other social networking sites that were set up by enterprising businesspeople specifically to bump up follower numbers for people willing to pay. I was curious to see what I could measure from this process. Would...

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