Buying Twitter followers
Yeah, it sounds sleazy, but despite Twitter's best efforts, the site actually does a pretty poor job of identifying and shutting down bots and followers-for-hire. Various investigations have found absolutely massive numbers of fake Twitter followers on some of the site's most prominent accounts: Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber. Even Twitter itself was found to have plenty of fakes. (Shockingly, it appears the one real thing about Kim Kardashian is her Twitter fan base.)
Now, this obviously doesn't mean that the president is logging on to creepy Russian websites and paying the requisite hundred bucks, only that for sites looking to use bots to drive traffic, re-tweeting an Obama edict or a Bieber shoutout is a good way to get some page views.
For those who do buy fake followers, plenty of features are available. Unlike fake Facebook fans, Twitter bots can favorite, re-tweet and even reply -- for an extra fee.
Buying Twitter followers and Facebook friends for someone else
Most of these fake-follower websites don't require a Twitter password to buy followers for an account (and who would give their password to a sketchy website like that anyway?), so you don't need to be the operator of an account to buy fake followers for it.
Want to make Mitt Romney look bad? Buy him obviously fake followers, and give them all identical profile pictures. Because Twitter is sometimes slow to close down fake accounts and buying followers is incredibly easy, this is a pretty effective strategy for messing with people.
The best part? It's nearly untraceable, meaning that a suddenly and horribly popular account holder will be pounding his fists on his MacBook while you gleefully watch his real followers shake their heads at his lack of ethics.
Not that you should do this at all. Just saying it'd be really easy and fun, and you wouldn't get in trouble.
More from Minyanville:
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Please, it's the American way:
Leo Duroucher, c 1948: "Nice guys finish last."
Vince Lombardi, c 1960's: "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."
Ara Parseghian: c 1970's: "Losing is the worst thing that can happen."
Donald Trump: c 1980's: "It doesn't matter if you win or lose. It only matters if you win."
And from the number of Americans who have "overreahed" and gotten caught and suffered criminal and civil penalties you get the impression that it is much better to take your chances and grab all you can even if you get caught, than to sit back and be satisfied with what you have."
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Start investing in technology companies with help from financial writers and experts who know the industry best. Learn what to look for in a technology company to make the right investment decisions.
Eight leading technology companies -- bitter rivals in some cases -- are pushing the White House and members of Congress to rein in government surveillance.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY