Buying Friends And Influence Online

Whoevebotsr said, “Money can’t buy you friends,” clearly hasn’t been on the Internet recently. Today its possible to buy 4,000 new followers on Twitter for about $5 (about Rs 300). You can also pick up about 4,000 friends on Facebook for the same amount and, for a few dollars more, have half of them like a photo or post you share on the site.

If you are willing to shell out $3,700, you could have made 10 lakh—yes, that many—new friends on Instagram. For an extra $40, 10,000 of them will like one of your photos.

Retweets. Likes. Favorites. Comments. Upvotes. Page views. You name it; they’re for sale on websites such as Swenzy, Fiverr and countless others.

Many of these  friends live in India, Bangladesh, Romania and Russia—and they are not exactly human. They are bots, or lines of code. But they are built to behave like people on social media sites.

Bots have been around for years and they used to be easy to spot. They had random photos for avatars (often of a sultry woman), used computer-generated names (like Jen934107), and shared utter drivel (mostly links to pornography sites). But today’s bots, to better camouflage their identity, have real-sounding names. They keep human hours, stopping activity during the middle of the night and pick up again in the morning. They share photos, laugh out loud—LOL—and even engage in conversations with one another. And there are millions of them. These imaginary citizens of the Internet have the power,to make celebrities, wannabe celebrities and companies seem more popular than they really are, swaying public opinion about culture and products and, in some instances, influencing political agendas. Read more of this post

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