OK, social media gurus. Riddle me this.
A few months back I unfollowed five accounts on Twitter because they were all posting the same content (almost always links to listicles). Each account belonged (ostensibly) to a different attractive young lady with a non-trivial amount of followers (tens of thousands). Each account followed me first, and I then followed them back. Before I unfollowed them, I asked all of them in two different tweets why they all posted the same content within seconds of each other. There was no answer, so I unfollowed them, and they all returned the favor within a day or so.
Now it’s happening again.
Note the timestamps.
Now originally I had actual embedded tweets above (instead of images), but I discovered something interesting. These listicle tweets don’t last any longer than a few minutes. When I previewed them while I was writing the post, they displayed correctly. When I published the post, the links were broken.
Now there is a difference with these two and the five I referred to earlier. These two tweet other things besides these links, and sometimes they’re funny. However, the more closely I read them, the more I think they could easily be pulling from a big database. There is never anything particularly topical, for example. And most of the “spontaneous” comments are vaguely naughty and/or cynical.
The bottom line is I think these Twitter accounts are automated. Some considerable effort has gone into making them appear otherwise. There are multiple photographs of the supposed account owners, for example (and oooh, creepy thought I just had: what if these photos are just lifted from somewhere and the actual person depicted has no idea?).
So, my question: what is the purpose of this deceit? Where is the lucrative angle for its perpetrator?