One thing you will notice among the Kenyans on Twitter recently is the emergence of a group of trolls only known for empty viral following. They run followership campaigns hoping to gain followers or reward the very foolish with non-existent followers.
Leading this band is Cyprian Nyakundi, Victor Mochere and xtiandela. They are not popular in any way in Kenya for anything but they have so many followers on Twitter. So you ask yourself how they got so many followers. They bought them!!! There are many ways of buying Twitter followers.
Their first trick was to lure you into some viral following links which they use to mine your twitter username and passwords and use them to get you to follow them. In fact, blog pevu covered the whole debacle on this post. That revelation was authored in August 2013.
To know whether someone has fake or real followers on Twitter, you just need to deploy a little common sense and study the followers and their behaviour. The best tool available for this is TwitterCounter. It analyses any users followers and their distribution. First, let’s agree that you can’t tell Nyakundi, Xtiandela or Mochere on the street like you can tell Jeff Koinange, Martha Karua, Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Julie Gichuru.
So they are not your popular gang. They are not celebrities in any way. They don’t have any cause or business to their name worth mentioning. There is no way they’d be so popular on Twitter to have almost the same number of followers as the Deputy President or former Prime Minister in Kenya. Just no way!
A study of Nyakundi’s followers reveal that he mostly has foreign followers. A study of his 3 months on Twitter or 6 months reveal that he has been losing more followers in a day that gaining. On average, he has been losing 60 followers a day meaning that the followers are running away mostly. Popular people on Twitter gain more followers than they lose. And there is no way Check the graph below.
The same thing happens with Xtiandela who, according to his Twitter profile, is more popular that Jeff Koinange. Look at the last 6 months trend on his account and you will see steep fluctuations on the account raising eyebrows why sometimes he loses up to 1000 followers in a single day. Why would 1,000 of your followers unfollow you in a day? It doesn’t just happen so deeply suspect. And between July and September 2014, the fool gained more than 200,000 followers? How? Twitter founders are his parents or he is hosting some show bigger than Oprah, Obama and Justin Beiber?
Check the 6 months trends in the accounts of, , , and . You will see how their followership is steady execept the ones they follow where sometimes they have their PMS and decide to unfollow. You can’t decide to gain massive following but you can decide to unfollow en masse. Simple common sense.
The cons have managed to fool even OLX and others with their fake followers and earned some awards and accolades for inexistent influence. Even Kout has refused to recognise their massive influence and so you see their engagement on the influence measuring platform stagnant. If you can gain massive following so fast, your influence should be in the range of Obama’s 99% and not a stagnant 79 – 80%.
There are many sites used to buy fake followers. Twitter tried to clamp down on that but it has not fully been managed. The Next Web did a great article about this.
Check this report on Nyakundi’s followers. See the followers and realise the fakery