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Twitter’s notorious fake bots will never be eliminated entirely because the social media giant is not doing anything to solve this particular problem once and for all, according to Nick Bilton, writing for Vanity Fair.
Bilton’s opinion comes in the wake of the suspension of Richard Roeper from the Chicago Sun-Times, where he has written a column since 1987. The noted film critic was not suspended for sexual harassment nor verbal abuse but for buying fake followers for his Twitter account.
Roeper was outed by an article published by the New York Times which reported that actors, athletes, companies, Real Housewives stars and even a Twitter board member bought bogus Twitter accounts from a company called Devumi.
The army of fake bots vanished days after the story’s publication, showing promise that Twitter is finally doing something to fix one of its major headaches.
But Twitter allegedly knew all along about the fake bots, even since the time it started operations, but deletes only enough bots so as not to affect the publicly accepted total number of active users on its platform.
Bilton confided how simple and easy it was to buy bots, having once downloaded a software called “Twitter Supremacy” for only US$50 for a six-month license. He used the software to create his own bot farm, which he used for re-tweets, replies and to like tweets.
He said he had a good laugh when Twitter released a statement in connection with the New York Times expose, saying Devumi’s unscrupulous tactics violated its policies and were totally unacceptable to them. Twitter also added that it was working to stop Devumi and companies like it.
Bilton thinks Twitter is merely bluffing, even though it has removed more than a million accounts associated with Devumi. Doing so would only show not that many people are using its platform.