The weekend, I discussed that Trump Derangement Syndrome had affected the America media so badly that it distorted its space-time continuum.

It appears fewer people want to travel to #Planet Resistance, which led the #FakeNews makers purchased fake Twitter followers to promote their alternative reality.

Big media outlets have embraced Twitter as a distribution platform but still struggle with how reporters and editors use the social media service, particularly when they appear to be breaching journalism ethics.

This sizable gray area came into clearer focus this week, after a New York Times exposé revealed that more than a dozen news media figures had paid to artificially pump up the number of followers they have on Twitter.

Journalists and commentators, who presumably joined the platform to enhance their stature, instead found themselves grasping to explain why they had paid for counterfeit supporters. When contacted by NBC News, the journalists identified by The Times as having bought Twitter followers had a range of responses: Many ducked requests for comment, others blamed associates, while just one sounded chastened.

Too perfect! #FakeFollowers to go with the #FakeNews.

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneidermanon opened an investigation into a fake follower production firm, which created some accounts by copying real users’ personal information.

The company, Devumi, and its sale of automated followers to a swath of celebrities, sports stars, journalists and politicians, was detailed in a New York Times article published earlier on Saturday. While based in Florida, Devumi claims on its website to be based in New York City.

At least 55,000 of its “bot” accounts used names, pictures, hometowns and other details taken from people on Twitter. The real users hailed from every U.S. state, including New York, and dozens of countries, a Times analysis found.

Some contributors have already taken a hit after their fraud was discovered.

The story prompted the Chicago Sun-Times to suspend its well-known film critic, Richard Roeper, who was among the people the Times said had bought millions of dormant or artificially generated followers from the company, called Devumi. The Sun-Times didn’t explain or detail its decision except to say it wouldn’t publish anything further by Roeper until it completed an investigation of his social-media activity.

… Among the journalists identified by the Times as buying followers from Devumi was Joe Concha, a reporter and columnist for The Hill, a newspaper in Washington. The Hill’s managing editor, Bob Cusack, said the publication wasn’t just unaware that Concha had bought about 5,000 followers in early 2017 – it was unaware that it was possible for anyone to do so.

…Concha declined to comment for this article but said on Twitter that he bought the followers on the recommendation of a friend, a social-media expert, “to enhance [my] brand”. He described it as “one-and-done” and later seemed to dismiss the value of the practice: “Net-net: nobody cares if you have 47k or 42k followers.”

In the meantime, Concha wrote that he has deleted almost all of the followers he bought.

On the other hand, Eric Zorn (a Chicago Tribune contract reporter) minimized the offense.

It’s a misdemeanor violation of the truth, not a felony; an embarrassment, not a disgrace. Like in real life, affection online should be real, not phony; earned not purchased. A loss of face, not the loss of a career, is the fitting consequence.

Between the mass-bannings and shadow-bannings of conservative voices on the Twitter, this new data point confirms that it is the perfect social media platform for Planet #Resistance.


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