Did You Know That People BUY Followers?

In an era of fake news, it comes as no surprise to me that a thousand or a million likes on social media platforms are actually fake.  Celebrities and politicians buy fake followers to boost their popularity and to move political agendas.  Yup! Companies like Devumi offer Twitter followers, views of YouTube, plays on SoundCloud, and endorsements on Linkedin – often for as little as a few cents per follower. It doesn’t just stop here in the US, this is happening in China, Ecuador, and all over the world. According to Rami Essaid, founder of Distil Networks, a cybersecurity company that specializes in eradicating bot networks, “Social media is a virtual world that is filled with half bots, half real people.”  What you see on social media may not be what you think it is.

What’s wrong with insecure people buying followers – kind of like buying friends?  It makes the rest of the population feel insignificant by comparison.  So many young people suffer in silence as they see how popular others are.  Aspiring artists and musicians feel depressed when their follower stats are low. 

I hope cybersecurity companies can reveal true numbers and shame abusers of the system so we can establish some sort of semblance of real facts and real news.

Keep Twitter Out Of Our Private Places

I’m worried about my privacy on a lot of levels.  It seems that every time I accept an “upgrade,” a part of my privacy is handed over to advertisers and others.  They always claim that they’ll provide better services and connect us with stores, brands, and organic content that I care about, but what is really happening is that they’re sharing our shopping, viewing, and browsing habits with retailers.  Twitter just updated their privacy policy on May 18th, and guess what?  You were automatically opted in.  Hmm.

The good news is that you can stop Twitter from sharing your information.  Here’s how:

1. Go to your account page and open “Settings”

2. Click on “Settings and Privacy”> “Privacy and Safety”> “Personalization and Data”

3. At the top of this page, disable “All Personalization and Data Settings”

    a. Twitter website: click “Disable all”

    b. Twitter mobile app: click toggle switch at the top

    c. Make sure to disable on both the website and the app

Another way to make sure you’re protected is to check out the new “Your Data” section to see the demographic, geographic, and other personal information they’re collecting about you.  On the mobile app, scroll down to the bottom of the page on the Personalization and Data page (in Settings), and tap “See your Twitter Data.” You can view and edit Your Profile here. You can also go to the “Your Data” tab to request a list of advertisers that Twitter has shared your personal information with. 

Protect yourself and prevent advertisers from stalking you!

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