Now We Have to Worry About Fake Friends

“Let”s have coffee sometime and catch up.”  “Yeah. We should do that.”

Let’s talk somewhere else besides the toilet paper aisle.

And as my friend and I walk away, we both know,  it’ll never happen. We just did all the “catching up” we wanted to do  in the grocery store, standing between the pickles and potato chips.

It used to be you knew your fake friends.

That has changed: Welcome to the Twenty-first Century. Now we have fake digital friends.

Twitter is the worst. Need a popularity boost?

  • There are 20 ebay sellers and 58 websites where people can buy fake Twitter followers.
  • The average price of buying 1000 followers is $18
  • A Dealer can earn as much as $800/day for 7 weeks of selling followings if they can control  20,000 fake accounts. (You’re rethinking your day job, aren’t you?)

A search in the WP forum shows this can be a problem for blogs, also. Out of no where, a blogger get 5 -10 new subscribers a day for several weeks. The Help Gurus say no harm can come of it and never mind that the followers have suspect names, or link back to a Wikipedia page.

What can you do?

For Twitter, you can enter your handle at Status People  and  discover the number of fakers you have.

For $59.95, I and my whole herd of 71 registered pigs will subscribe to your blog.

For WP:  There’s nothing you can do if fake friends want to follow you….

Smiley

Just enjoy your fake popularity—but don’t expect comments.

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About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in Change, Humor, Life, Satire, Smiles, Worries and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to Now We Have to Worry About Fake Friends

  1. Red says:

    I am late, but just have to share. When my husband died, I disappeared from online altogether. I had around 6,500 “friends” on FB (mostly Mafia…don’t judge) and around 1,500 on Twitter. When I came back 3 years later, I still had around 5,500 on FB, but more than 1,000 requests (it will only show you 200 at a time…I had to get someone at FB to tell me how many I had to slog through). On Twitter? I had gained (GAINED) 300 followers in the years I had not tweeted not a single stinking thing.

    ❤ Fake friends. I have had more than my share, but I have some I dearly, dearly love who I met on social media. I do not know if you saw my post Through the Wire, but some have affected me profoundly. A handful dragged me kicking and screaming to all of the social media and to WP. I was a blogger without social media long before WP or Blogger. Meh. What are you going to do?
    xxx

    Like

  2. I totally agree and thanks for sharing this post with all frankness and honesty. Among the social media, wordpress is the “it” for me. I do have a twitter and facebook but I can’t really spend that much time as there is the real world that pretty much takes my time and energy. There’s work, family, and the endless responsibilities. Blogging and getting connected is like my therapy, my escape, my sanity, my reflections of blessings I received. As for fake friends….Hmmm….been there. All I need is a few sentences and I could already tell. So, moral lesson is once we find “real friends” treasure them and cherish them for who they are.

    Like

  3. Silva Gang says:

    We can buy fake friends that will laugh at all our jokes and hit “like” enthusiastically on all our posts from now until eternity?! Best idea I’ve heard all day! I need more information! Meet me in the feminine hygiene aisle where it’s nice and quiet, so we can chat about this! 😉

    Like

  4. I’ll be darned! Margie

    Like

  5. Nisha says:

    Well. I just checked and I have 0 fake followers. I’m now asking myself, why don’t I have any fake followers????? Am I not good enough for these fakers????

    Like

  6. At first I felt guilty about buying all my robot followers until I realized those robots were much more loyal than my real followers and were willing to follow me regardless of whether I posted anything good or even posted period.

    Like

  7. JSD says:

    Just to let you know this follower is not a fake, okay? Now you blew the cover off Twitter…all those followers are just fake, much like most of the people who Twit. 🙂

    Like

    • Barb says:

      JSD, much like the new voter requirements, I’ll be checking followers’ ID. Open your mouth and show me your teeth. I figure if you have teeth you’re not a bot. (And thanks for following)

      Like

  8. Buying Twitter followers? It’s like buying fakes guests to a pool party. Odd. Great post, Barb. I shall keep my eyes peeled for those WP fakers.

    Like

  9. El Guapo says:

    I don’t follow anyone on wp, and almost no one on twitter whose online company I don’t genuinely enjoy. I already spend way too much time here to afford to waste any of it! (And I’velearned to not get carried away over my stats!)

    Fortunately, I don;t have facebook. No telling what would happen then…

    Like

    • Barb says:

      You know what, Guapsterola??? I would have bet moola that you were a FB kind of guy. That just goes to show I need to hang out with you more and learn more about you. Like…uh….do you like that fake watermelon flavor in Jolly ranchers or would you prefer that fake chocolate in Little Debbie Snak cakes?

      (And while you don’t follow anyone on WP. I’m glad to see you sharing your guapadopagola humor here.)

      Like

      • El Guapo says:

        If nothing else, I would come just to see your variations on “Guapola”!

        And I like Life Savers. Had a traumatic experience once with Jolly Ranchers.
        Okay, it was Vodka, but Jolly Ranchers were involved…

        Like

  10. Arindam says:

    Well said Barb. Fake is a term I simply hate, and friends is a term which I believe the backbone of a person. At least I consider my friends as my backbone. So very thoughtful combined two completely different terms to come up with one which says it all. Honestly, I do not want any fake followers. I believe that number can never help me in life. Great post, Barb.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I think the ban on fake applies to a lot of things. Fake milk, fake dirt, fake birds. There’s just something about the real thing…and yes, those real things usually have spines.

      Like

  11. Hummm. I have sat here for a minute or two trying to figure out something to say about this problem and I have come to the realization that I simply don’t care about it. No offense intended Barb, it isn’t you and I very much enjoy your posts, it’s just that all of this social network crap is just that, crap. I know when I first started blogging I was told the rules of the road were to visit many sites and follow them and they would return the favor and soon you would have an army of followers. I suppose that works and big follower numbers must have some value but for me, I’m content with the few with whom I’ve carried on a conversation with over the years and while they may not qualify as friends, they are certainly familiar acquaintances and I’m comfortable with that.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I think I should frame your words. This is a whole post in itself. You’re right. When we first start blogging, we’re all, “Ohhh. Someone is willing to follow what I said.” Then after a while it becomes more about looking forward to hearing from people we’ve made friendships with across the world. We think about them when we haven’t heard from them for a while. We quote them or something they’ve written. We’re touched by their kind words and funny replies. So to put it in the words of a great guy….”I’m comfortable with that.”

      Like

      • hugmamma says:

        Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, especially with a post that I felt strongly about. I knew the political bent might turn some folks away, but I was willing to risk it.

        I’ve spoken about my passion for writing as the reason I started blogging a couple of years ago. I’ve also indicated that being popular was not what I sought. We know, as you and your followers have said, that popularity is fleeting. I’ve become more suspect of “likes,” especially when I see ads on some blogs I’ve visited.

        It’s better to have a few substantial visitors, who become friends. And so I’m grateful for your first visit…and kind remarks.

        hugs… 🙂

        Like

  12. poetrose says:

    I never twitter and really do not know what it is, so I guess I am not a twit. Facebook…my sister set up my account long ago saying I would enjoy it, but rarely use it. I guess I am a Facebook flop. I prefer friends who will be there when I need a shoulder or a lunch and laugh.
    I have had a couple friendships for 46 years now. Long, reliable friends.

    Like

  13. I love this term – fake friends. At least you know going in. And those notices we get that announce that we are now friends with so and so. I haven’t bought any friends yet, though it seems they can be had at a bargain.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Why buy fake friends? FB continually makes suggestions for all kinds people I don’t know and have never heard of but think they should be my friends. Isn’t that helpful? It’s almost a matchmaking service better than my registered piglet friends.

      Like

  14. digipicsphotography says:

    I don’t use Twitter or Pinterest. Found them both to be useless. At least on FB I can keep in touch with relatives who live far away.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I think the social media works best when you have a goal like you do…keeping in contact with friends, rather than a goal of being popular. I’d like it better if only Mr. Zukerman didn’t keep track of everything a person writes and throws advertising in sidebars based on conversations.

      Like

  15. Les says:

    Thought provoking post Barb, especially for heavy Tw/FB users. However…

    I’m happy with my decisions. It is now 2012, long after Twitter and Faceless hit the scene and I use neither. I had a FB account for a while, and have cancelled it. If you can stay FB free for 2 weeks (can you?) it will go away for ever. Twitter I think I still have. I set it up the first week it was in existence but haven’t used it. No loss. I wish I had never allowed myself to be sucked into Google+, but Google took away Google Video Chat and have now established Google+ as a (hopefully) all-multi-media world encompassing media. I think I’ll stick with paperback books, bicycles to ride (not a video version) and almost sad to say, my iPhone I won’t leave home without. The whole “friending” thing seems way over rated to me. I know many will say I’m just not with it anymore, but I don’t care if they say it, whether to my face, online or whatever. I’m happy with how I’ve shaped my life and I’m happy for those that feel the same, super-digital people or the non-connected. (not that I know many truly non-connected any more) Hmm… I’m not sure I know ANY non-connected people any more.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      When I was young, I tried to have a record of never eating at a Burger King because I thought it would be cool to say. “I’ve never eaten at a BK.” I made it to about 30, but alas, I grew hungry one night and it was the only place open. So maybe it’s a new goal for someone out there to never leave a social networking footprint. That would be quite a challenge. Any takers?

      Like

  16. Wonderful post. I was just at a baby shower where the conversation, strangely, focused on the mother-to-be prioritizing her life. She had dropped Twitter and Face Book, deciding she would send pictures and write notes only to a handful of friends she really wanted to share things with about her pregnancy and her baby. (There was almost 30 at her shower, so I don’t know who the lucky handful will be…)

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Wow. That’s like stepping back into …uh…2005 pre-twitter days. I admire her if she can stick to it. I think it brings back a civility to the world. If people want to know about her and the baby, they’ll drop by and make a personal inquiry, rather than 140 word passing statement.
      On the other hand, I have a 70 year old friend who’s announced she’d not going to send out anymore letters or email. She’s only going to post on FB, and her friends need to get a FB page if they want to know what’s going on in her life.
      I wonder if this is a trend. You know…like when the older generation endorses something, then the younger generation gives it up.

      Like

  17. momaescriva says:

    Who wouda thunk it? My sales pitch would be tweeters to tweet, you pay, we sing! Thanks Barb for making me laugh today. Love ya.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Laughs are free anytime, but the pig slop isn’t free. We’ve got to charge big for hammy comments. Could you work on a marketing campaign using a porcine metaphor?

      Like

    • Barb says:

      Crap!!! The article says you can buy 5,000 fake followers for only $77 dollars? The registered pigs and I are being undersold. Now I’ve got to hire more pigs to keep up. Drat.

      Like

  18. I knew there was a reason I don’t play Facebook or twitter. I have all the fake friends I can use here and now.
    Hiss and spit (sadly that phrase has been my theme for October – I have typed it so often that muscle memory tells my fingers where to go).

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Well, the problem is that your fake friends are up close and in your face. But with your fake Twitter friends you can ignore them all you want with very little effort. Now who says digital communication doesn’t have its benefits?

      Like

  19. Margie says:

    Why would anyone knowingly buy fake followers? The internet really is a strange and desperate place.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      You bring up an interesting topic, Margie. The “Why” of it all. Some of it’s about being popular, but most of it is about selling yourself so other people will buy whatever you’re touting. It seems that many humans are like lemmings. We tend to do what the other lemming does. So if a bunch of people think you’re popular, then they want to do and be like you. (Think of the cool table of HighSchool kids at the lunchroom). Oh…I guess that get’s us back to your desperate comment.

      Like

  20. Alice Lynn says:

    From fake fur to fake friends. Do we live in a holographic world?

    Like

  21. Patois says:

    Yes, I keep getting notices about new people ‘following’ my long-abandoned twitter account. I do have a sneaking suspicion that they are not sincerely interested in me.

    Like

  22. So, all I have to do is set up 20,000 accounts and I’ll be quids in?
    I’ve not used Twitter for so long now, I don’t know how many followers I have. I didn’t know most of them when I used it for that matter, either.
    Actually, though, I’m not too bothered if a robot wants to follow me on WordPress, Barb, as long as they don’t send me spam messages… I don’t have any robot followers at present I don’t think, but you’ve activated my curiosity gene now. Interesting post, Barb… thanks!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I know. I’m curious about why people have those “click here to prove you’re not a robot” boxes on their blogs. I’m not sure why robot comments are so bad. Maybe folks get tired of deleting comments like:
      You write all interesting. I follow your good mistakes.

      Like

  23. Tell me more about those registered pigs, Barb. Maybe, then, I can say that my followers are hog-wild for my posts. 🙂

    Like

  24. Lisa Nowak says:

    And I didn’t think Twitter could get any more useless.

    Like

  25. Who do I make the check out to…? (hahah) I am going to go check my “fakes” right now. Funny and to the point post. 🙂

    Like

  26. emjayandthem says:

    There’s one follower in particular who seems to haunt me, everything I like, he likes. He’s like that grade-school kid who had a crush on you, the one you couldn’t get rid of. Maybe I can pay him to stop doing that?

    🙂 MJ

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Uh…MJ….that’s me. You’re like a superhero. A wonder woman. A trend setter. If you started wearing Buster Brown shoes, we’d all start wearing them, too. Sometimes there’s no avoiding your coolness. You’ll just have to resolve to let us adore you, please.

      Like

  27. winsomebella says:

    Yes, the Dealer gig is looking pretty good right now 🙂

    Like

  28. Phil says:

    Huh. Well that’s depressing. You mean to tell me that in my hundreds of thous… er… tens of thous… er… (ahem) tens of … well, tens of followers I have, some may be fake friends?

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Maybe they started out as fake, but after they got to know you, they fell in love with you and are now dedicated to simply have your shadow fall across their path. (That’s so they can borrow money from you later.)

      Like

      • Phil says:

        Barb, I’ll be happy to lend out little money to all my internet friends due to my incredicble good fortune, having discovered I won the European lottery (three times actually) and being contacted by an African widow of Royalty looking for a man of discretion like myself to kindly help her transfer money out of their besieged Nation after a family member was tragically killed.

        Can’t hang around long, for I need to respond to these folks, giving them my bank accounts into which to deposit said funds. Imagine the number of friends I’ll have then, once I’m rich!

        Like

        • Barb says:

          Be sure to drop by the Souvenir Shop, ol’buddy, ol’ pal. You can buy presents for all you newly found friends. And like Twitter, I can suggest a few more friends.I know you want as many fake friends as possible.

          Like

  29. Dor says:

    Oh boy is this scary! And here I thought I was finally achieving popularity sight unseen. 🙂 Great post Barb!

    Like

  30. Roxie Matthews says:

    I’m real! I’m real,and I got the tea-parties to prove it!

    Like

  31. Elyse says:

    Personally I have numerous followers who don’t “LIKE” me. And I am heartbroken about it.

    Like

  32. Al says:

    Do you mean to say they’re not really following my fake charm and wit?

    Like

  33. Two bits-four bits-six bits a follower!
    All for X stand up and holler!
    For reelz??

    Like

  34. I’ve always had this sneaking suspicion some of my followers were robots. I really should buy some twitter followers, I’ve only got maybe a dozen, and they’re probably robot pigs. (that photo and caption at the end made me spit out my coffee!)

    Like

    • Barb says:

      HUSH, Darla, HUSH!!! Don’t tell people they’re robot pigs. That’s a secret. People don’t want robot porkies. They want real comments from real pigs. Wait…er…that doesn’t sound quite right. Well, let me just say, our oinkers are semi-sincere.

      Like

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