If you've got an account on Twitter, you would've surely noticed by now that quite a fair few accounts seem to be sporting over 10,000 followers, yet they're only following about a fifth of them and that they aren't an actor, singer, politician, etc..
Now a majority of these said "followers" will actually be fake accounts, because if you're tech savvy enough, you would know that there's a slight flaw in Twitters mobile website which allows a simple bot (or most people just pay someone to do it) to register loads of fake accounts, then direct them to follow your account - resulting in a shit load of new followers within the blink of an eye.
The question is though, why do people do this and also is there a way of spotting accounts that have fake followers?
One reason most will do it for is just to brag to their mates that they have 'x' amount of thousands following them (similar to what people used to do with their MySpace friend counts and also Bebo friend counts), these days *everything* is a game of numbers.
Another reason is for money. Yes, money.
There's a few websites out there that will pay you to post a sponsored tweet for them, advertising whatever product they need you to do. In return, you get a couple of dollars. At the time of writing this, Paris Hilton (yeah, the sex-tape creature) is charging $4,600 (£2,742) for her (or her agent) to post a single tweet on her account for you. Most websites that offer these services though, only seem to go on what your follower count is, so you could have a follow count of 1,000,000 (of which all of them are fake) and they will give you more money than someone with a genuine 2,500 followers. This however, from an advertisers point of view, is horrendous - you're basically chucking your money away.
Now if you are an advertiser or someone who is interested in advertising and want to know how to spot Twitter accounts with fake followers, a very simple method is to look through their images. Sounds silly, but if an account has 30,000 followers and the person has posted a picture of something really funny or a picture of a cute kitten and not even a 1,000th of the followers have favourited it, then you know there's something dodgy going on. Then again, there is no way that someone with 30,000 "followers" that then posts a funny picture (which pretty much caters for everyone's taste) shouldn't be at least reaching 200+ favourites on it.
Any lower and you know that they're just sad individuals that are just wasting their money on something that they can't actually have a conversation with. It's like social media has lost the social with those idiots.