In a previous post here http://wp.me/p2MRYW-gm I used twittercount.com and twitteraudit.com applications to analyse the followers history for @ wikileaks_forum. I concluded that fake followers had been purchased, to the region of 44% at the time.
My post has created exchanges in twitter and Mannheimia Phage @Myoviridae, describing themselves as a Whistleblower and critic to anti-Wikileaks site http://wikileaks-forum.com undertook an experiment to collect empirical evidence that indeed fake accounts had been purchased by @ wikileaks_forum.
I have been asked to summarise their findings in a post here as it confirms my own previous analysis.
The @Myoviridae experiment took place Dec 2013:
24 accounts were selected as a random batch. From this sample of 24 followers, none had posted in December, most had not posted since mid November, many October or September. Some of the biographies appeared to be those of children. None were accounts that demonstrated an interest in politics, news or WikiLeaks, in any shape or form.
The pattern observed includes that they will typically had about 20 followers (also fake!) and had tweeted about 30 times on topics irrelevant to WL, nothing to do with generally, politics, news related issues. They followed between 400 to 500 people.
In addition, there were a few isolated fake followers, plainly created individually. These appeared to be lazy creations. Very little effort had gone into them and frequently they would be following 3 accounts, one of which being the forum. They contained no biographies or pictures. Often they showed as protected accounts so one could not investigate their tweets or any further information about them.
Here she is Melanie giving testimonial for ovarian cysts guide book http://cystonovary-pcos.com
Here her picture appears in youth awards by Bankia, Australia http://www.supergreenme.com/BanksiaEnvironmentalFoundation
Here she is Joanna from Bydgoszcz, English Customer Service Representative http://www.englishshark.com/user-opinions
Here she gives advise on preparing for pregnancy http://www.expectthebestpregnancy.com/preconception.php
Here her name is Ashley Doran and is a singer http://voicelessonsonline.org
Second Account: @nashardath
This account points to someone remarkable that seem to follow accounts that tweet exclusive in English or Arabic, or Russian or Turkish. An amazing achievement for any person but again no WL interest or political interest indicated.
Third account: @wyliezkz
This one is a pure gem. I was amused to learn that pseudo wikileaks forum do their fake followers shopping at the same place as a Mexican politician, PAN Candidate, Santiago Gonzalez. A most informative article confirms this as a fake account.
Fourth Account: @tammaralqrtkw
This one has identical behaviour like the second account described above. Some interesting accounts it follows include http://www.fixsocialmedia.com and http://www.6wseo.com both sites offering twitter and Facebook followers/likes as well as search engine optimisation services. Could these companies be the origin of these fake accounts? We’ll never know but one thing is for sure, they are fake.
Fifth Account: @lyndsaychg
Fascinating Following behaviour this one: using twittercount.com I checked this account’s following history. From 23/06/2013 to 14/09/2013, this account in 84 days followed 84 accounts, one on each and every day. Then on the Sep 15th it unfollowed 11 accounts. Then from 16/09/2013 to 10/10/2013, in 118 days it followed 118 accounts, again one on each day, then on Friday the 10th of October it unfollowed 4 accounts and then zero follows since then. There is some automatic following behaviour there obviously, “hello bot!”.
So, to conclude, evidence presented here confirms that fake followers have been purchased by @ wikileaks_forum as a means of boosting their image, so their staff can declare in joy :
The hypocrisy at the forum continues. But why should Twitter gravitas matter to them enough to engage in such hypocrisy ? why manufacture something false? Because sadly this appears to be the essence of their existence, creating a fake wikileaks branded social media instrument to use against the Community of supporters and the organisation itself. Keep your eyes open friends!
Many thanks to @Myoviridae for their detailed work and experiment.