You, Twitter and Sexy Sexy Sarah

Bob Leggitt | Wednesday, 23 May 2012 |

You put in masses of hard work to build up a following on Twitter, and you think you’re doing well.

Then you find another account which has built a significantly bigger following than yours, in a shorter space of time.

Not a problem at all – until you discover that this significantly more successful account, is in fact a bot. A small piece of automated software, which does nothing but tweet stolen quotes, and tactically follow and unfollow accounts, mechanically feigning interest in them. Below, you can see how a Twitter bot might look at first glance. Quite enticing, isn't it? But click the image to enlarge it, and read the profile for a taste of cold reality...

Sexy Sexy Sarah doesn't exist - even as a bot (well, not at the time of writing anyway). The image is a mock-up. The photo for Sarah's avatar was in this case taken from a free, public domain image library, and therefore copyright has not been infringed. However, unthinkable volumes of avatars used by Twitter bots are simply stolen. They could be taken from anywhere on the Web - including your blog, site, Facebook, Flickr or forum posts.

A commercial Twitter bot typically builds a much bigger following than the average human being. What does that say about Twitter?... But more importantly, what does it say about people?

How many accounts like Sexy Sexy Sarah's are you following?
Bob 'Interesting' Leggitt is a print-published writer, multi-instrumentalist and twice Guitarist of the Year finalist, Google-certified digital marketer, image manipulation expert, virtual musical instrument builder, "Twitter detective", and author of successful blogs such as Planet Botch, Twirpz and Tape Tardis. | [Twitter] | [Contact Details]