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Defeating Twitter, The Trend of Forced Trending January 4, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Social Media , trackback

It looks like some businesses thrive on selling “trending” on Twitter. They will make any topic trend, political, social, unsocial, sports and even your marriage for that matter.

These are Trending factories. Typically a trending factory has anywhere between 5 to 10 people and each has a minimum of 10 fake accounts or trending accounts. There services begin from as low as Rs 10,000/- for 3-4 hours of trending in a city like Delhi and goes up to Rs. 100,000 for a full day. The trick in trending is to make it attractive enough for “real twitter accounts” to start tweeting with the trending #tag. Currently in India lot of marketing, specially of movies rely on trending, Dilwale to cover up for the setback of tolerance-intolerance debate ensured that it trended all over India for almost 20 days before the release of the movie.

There are some of course which are natural and/ or spontaneous trends. #earthquake this morning was a spontaneous and a purely natural trend in response to earthquake in North East of India. Pathankot without #tag started trending on its own, later on #PathankotAttack and others were created by media channels to control the unfortunate happening on social-media.

Usually trends which show up without #tag are genuine and those which have a specific custom #tag are forced trending. Does trending pay to the business account or the interested party? Yes, it pays, it changes and dilutes mood swings of people but then as we have seen trending can be quite misleading too. We saw in Delhi Elections that all through election campaign various terms favorable to BJP were trending but the results were dramatically opposite. Lot of people have reasons to see trending on Twitter as muscle flexing, at this stage it becomes negative to the cause. And it looks like this is what happened during Delhi Elections.

Identifying fake accounts and made for trending accounts is fairly simple. Just hover your mouse over their account details. If their “following” number is more than “followers” number it is a negative account hence very high possibility that it is a “made for trending account”. If you look at the tweets you would find that these tweets sing the same song almost all day long, if that is happening don’t waste your time move on. It is good to block fake accounts too.  The best way to ensure that you don’t become a victim of fake trending is that follow only trusted accounts, if unknown fake accounts start re-tweeting you or replying back to your tweets and try to be abusive or push their agenda, just block them.  These accounts thrive in their anonymity and hence carry a license to abuse, cutting them short is the only way of enjoying your twitter experience.

Let them game Twitter, that is for Twitter to look out for, for you it is important that you don’t allow them to game your thoughts in garb of public opinion.

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