From Hollywood stars like Ashton Kutcher to President Obama, the number of Twitter followers you have can indicate popularity and social status. Some companies have been using this to their advantage by offering a service that sells Twitter followers with pricing as low as $18 per 1,000 followers, according to the e-security firm Barracuda Labs.
Twitter is now casting lawsuits against these companies that sell followers and said these companies have violated its terms-of-service agreement that prohibits “using or promoting third-party sites that claim to generate more followers… including sites promising ‘more followers fast’ or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account.”
“Twitter’s overall scheme is to promote following,” said Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law. “Twitter is happy when people develop large [followings] because there’s a lock-in effect—users can’t take their followers elsewhere.”
The rising number of businesses that sell followers begins to erode the overall value of the social network; hence the lawsuits.
But the lawsuits aren’t an automatic win for Twitter. A challenge for the social media mogul will be proving that the followers of users are purchased. Another difficulty will be proving that Twitter has actually been harmed as a result.
Were you aware that as a Twitter user, you can ‘buy’ followers? Know anyone that has done this? We want to hear from you and encourage you to share it on our Twitter page.
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**Source: ABA Journal