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As IPO Nears, Do Twitter's Active User Claims Add Up? 73 73

netbuzz writes "With Twitter's IPO looming, an independent developer who is intimately familiar with the makeup and behavior of the site's users says his analysis of 1 million random accounts does not support the company's claims of 215 million active monthly users and 100 million active daily users. In fact, Si Dawson, who until March ran Twit Cleaner, a popular app used to weed deadwood and spammers from Twitter accounts, puts those numbers at 112 million and 48 million, respectively, or about half of what Twitter claims."
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As IPO Nears, Do Twitter's Active User Claims Add Up?

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  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @06:05PM (#45340183) Homepage

    Twitter prohibits spam filters. You're not allowed to write a Twitter client with a spam filter. If you do, Twitter will invalidate your OAuth code. So people actually see Twitter spam. That makes Twitter a spam magnet.

    Of course they have huge numbers of fake users. Want to create some fake Twitter accounts? Just get Twitter Account Creator Bot [jetbots.com]: "... automatically creates thousands of accounts per day without any human intervention ... " Now only $225. Also available: Twitter Follower Bot ("can follow thousands of profiles using keywords"), "Twitter IDs Grabber Bot", and "Twitter Tweets Replier Bot".

    If you don't want to do it yourself, you can just buy Twitter accounts in bulk. 20,000 Twitter accounts for $400. [buybulkaccounts.org] That seems to be the going rate; BuyAccs.com [buyaccs.com] also quotes $400 for 20,000 accounts (with avatar!). Google+ and Facebook accounts cost about 5x as much from the same suppliers. When you see low, low pricing for bulk social network accounts, you can be sure the service isn't trying very hard to stop spammers.

    There's no problem finding social network spamming services. They advertise openly. Just search Google for "bulk twitter accounts". You don't have to go on Black Hat World, build up a reputation, and get into the closed forums. You don't have to get "bulletproof servers" in some third world country. The social spammers aren't hiding.

    (Ad: we could stop this by using SiteTruth [sitetruth.com] to find spam links in tweets. I prototyped a Twitter client with spam filtering and tested it. But Twitter doesn't allow that. "Sponsored tweets" have to get through, you know.)

  • The Funny Part (Score:1, Interesting)

    by The Cat (19816) * on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @09:05PM (#45341563)

    Will be when IPOs like this one expose the entire Internet ad market as a gigantic ponzi scheme. SEO too.

    Nobody has ever sold jack shit from a web ad. Nobody has ever sold jack shit from being #1 on Google. The whole fucking thing is a scam.

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