Were the roughly 350,000 spam bots, serial numbers and porn stars that now follow Danny Sheridan on Twitter purchased? Sheridan, a longtime USA Today analyst and handicapper, insists that they weren’t.
“I have never, ever spent a penny to buy followers on Twitter,” Sheridan told USA Today late Tuesday.
The body of evidence suggests otherwise. Sheridan went from 11,000 Twitter followers a few months ago to his current count, which is 365,000 at the time of this post. A quick scan of Sheridan’s followers reveals obvious spam accounts that look like this and this and this.
In the past hour, Sheridan’s following has risen by hundreds as people named Tonda Luther, Tiffanie Broussard, Valery Rector, Joanie Herron, Alla McClelland, Richard Vu, Brandon Hwang, Bronwyn Herrington, Cheryl Upton and Alesia Crabtree continue to “find” and follow him.
Sheridan theorized Sunday night that his uptick in Twitter follows is likely a direct result of radio appearances and the amount of traffic that his USA Today articles receive.
“With the interviews I’m doing daily,” Sheridan tweeted, “I expect more and am surprised it’s only 338,000.”
Again, this was on Sunday. He has since added more than 25,000 followers (and counting), and given that every follower looks the same—egg avatar, fairly inactive, first name spelled in all caps—it begs the question: “What kind of demographic is USA Today attracting nowadays?”
There are dozens of sites that sell spam followers, and the fair market price appears to be $400 per 100,000 followers. Some sites charge as low as $100 per 100k, but they’re tough to find.
“But wait!” you say. “What is the purpose of buying Twitter followers, anyway?”
WagerMinds summed it up better than we can:
“[You buy] followers to dupe casual Twitter users into thinking you’re more popular and influential than you really are. In turn, you’re hoping the phony popularity will help translate into actual popularity as legitimate users flock to a seemingly ‘popular’ Twitter user.
“It’s so very 21st century. And so very pathetic.”
With Sheridan involved, would you expect anything less?