Guy Who Fondly Remembers Beating Up Kids In The Schoolyard Loves When Reporter Threatens To Beat Up CEOs In The TwitterverseBy Bess Levin
Now he can squeeze it in in between his afternoon workout session and his standing reservation at the Grand Havana room.
One day earlier this month, Jim Vidmar bought 1,000 fake Twitter accounts for $58 from an online vendor in Pakistan. He then programmed the accounts to “follow” the Twitter account of rapper Dave Murrell, who calls himself Fyrare and pays Mr. Vidmar to boost his standing on the social network. Mr. Vidmar’s fake accounts also rebroadcast Mr. Murrell’s tweets, amplifying his Twitter voice. Mr. Murrell says he sometimes buys Twitter ads to raise his profile, “but you’ll get more with Jim.” He says many Twitter users try to make their followings look bigger than they are. “If you’re not padding your numbers, you’re not doing it right,” he says. “It’s part of the game.” [...] For 10 months in 2012 and 2013, a team of researchers from the University of California Berkeley and George Mason University worked with Twitter’s security department to help identify fake accounts and minimize robot activity. The team bought fake accounts on the black market, identified common characteristics, and developed a filter that would block roughly 95% of such accounts. Twitter’s previous system caught about 8% of fake accounts, the researchers said. They presented the results at an academic conference. In April, Twitter and the researchers applied the filter. Mr. Vidmar says he remembers the day, because most of his fake accounts were deleted, and he couldn’t create new ones. “They cleaned house,” he says. But Mr. Vidmar and others say the underground market quickly adapted. The researchers’ system flagged accounts with incomplete profiles, no pictures, and little activity. In response, Mr. Vidmar says suppliers now fill out more account details, add pictures, and tweet from the accounts before selling them. That drove up the cost of fake accounts. But marketers and researchers say the black market is again thriving. [WSJ]
UPDATE: And the winner is guest @ 3:43PM, with a just-under-the-wire call of $44.87. Guest, please get in touch to claim your prize.
Standard Price Is Right rules, closest without going over, guesses in by 3:45PM. Read more »
As those of you who’ve followed the career of Charles Gasparino know, before he became a fixture on Fox Business, CG got his start at the Tampa Tribune, followed by Bond World, followed by Bond Buyer (and Newsday, the Journal, and CNBC after that). Since Gasparino remembers his days at BB fondly, as a time of working in the trenches, honing his craft, sporting the mustache and suspenders at left, and hitting the speed bag that hung over his desk in between stories, the rumor he heard earlier today that the publication might be closing struck a chord. With a wave of nostalgia crashing over him, and knowing that the community would look to him for direction in this time of sadness, Gasparino took to Twitter to post a 140 character eulogy, writing:
sad day if true: was told @TheBondBuyer is closing. gave a lot of us our start including @JoeMysak and even once paved the way for reform
Charlie’s reminiscence quickly turned sour, however, when an editor at American Banker (owned by the same company that publishes Bond Buyer) wrote that the publication was not in fact closing, as did a fellow named Richard Melville, who works for Source Media, Bond Buyer‘s parent company, and appears to have started a Twitter account today for the sole purpose of denying Gasparino’s story. And while moment earlier, Charlie was mourning the passing of his old stomping grounds, suddenly the gloves and the top three buttons on the nice black suit he’d worn for the occasion were off:
@richmelville had the ring of being true because the last time u guys broke a story was when I was there in 94
With Carl Icahn exploring other means of communicating, Twitter will not be profitable until at least 2015. Of course, it will be profitable, especially if you are Goldman Sachs or can get in on the ground floor, one former Twitter user says. Read more »