Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Fake news, fake everything

Why I don’t do Twitter, Reason the Eleventy-millionth.

A few weeks ago I read a news item about the proliferation of “bots” as a commercially crooked, fraudulent, deceitful way by which celebrities try to fool the public into believing that millions of Americans passionately follow them on Facebook, on Twitter, and on other social media. If a celebrity has fewer “followers” than someone who has absolutely no reason to be famous, no discernible genius nor other socially valuable aspect, that reveals the celebrity’s social inconsequence. As a result, there apparently are entrepreneurs who create millions of fake accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere — and then get paid by the insecure celebrities or their publicity agents to set those fake accounts — “bots” — as “followers” of the celebrity. In other words, the celebrities pay for “Followers.” They pay fraudulent entrepreneurs to fabricate followers for them.

Think of your own name and identity. Now look in the mirror: how many of you are there? Perhaps one. (If two, either count calories or carbograms more carefully, or get a new mirror.) Meanwhile, let’s say there are ten accounts on Twitter with your name and identity — and all of them are set to follow someone you hate or never heard of. Guess what? Without you even knowing it, that person whom you hate or never heard of is going around bragging that he or she or it has ten more “followers” on Twitter than would be the case if your fraudulent “bots” did not exist, and if the celebrity had not paid for it. In all, hundreds of thousands — even millions — of Twitter “followers” do not even exist. It all is fake. It all is a lie. And the celebrities and their agents pay for the fake “Followers.”

Out of curiosity after reading the piece, I went onto Twitter. I personally do not tweet. I have serious reasons for avoiding Twitter. My law students do not care about my views about politics and religion. My synagogue members do not care about my interpretations or discussions of the civil laws of remedies, contracts, civil procedure, and advanced torts. My law clients do not even want to imagine that I do or think anything all day and night except worry about their legal issues. So I stay out of Twitter.

But — oh, what joy! Sure enough, there I am on Twitter: Dov Fischer, with my casual Hebrew rabbinic title, and the number of commandments that appear in the Torah by the Word of G-d and the hand of Moses. Apparently I have 4 Followers — none of whom I remotely have heard of, nor have even the remotest connection to my congregation, my Judaism, my law practice, my more-than-1,500 law students whom I have taught these past 14 years, my twenty-six years of published political and social commentary, nor my beloved New York Yankees and Mets. “Bots” following a “Bot”?

And — better still! — I am “Following” 41 people including Zedd (Who the heck is he? Is it a he?), Jimmy Kimmel, Tim Cook, Kobe Bryant (the one from the Colorado hotel), Ellen DeGeneres (Nobel laureate Obama’s Medal of Freedom winner), Bernie Sanders, LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (He’s still alive?), Elon Musk, SpaceX, Disneyland (Who can afford it? $600 to stand on line seven hours to go on a ride?), and just-plain Disney. Are these people or their publicity agents so insecure and desperate for attention that they actually need to pay someone to create a false Twitter account just to add a “follower”? And to buy millions more?

Are you as passionate a follower of the Rich and Pseudo-Famous as I am — or, more accurately: as my fraudulently created “bot” is? Go and take a look. Look yourself up. See whom you “follow”!

Naaaah. Don’t want to know. Don’t give a shit.

I DID sign up for a Gab account a while back, but I never have used it. I figure anything I have to say, I’ll just say it here. There are in fact plenty of Tweets I’ve linked here, as you all know, but only after seeing ’em mentioned someplace else. Don’t know why, it just never really grabbed me. Another symptom of my metastasizing old-fogeydom, I reckon.

Wonder if I have any Gab followers at all by now? Maybe I’ll go toss something or other up over there, just for the hell of it. If I can remember my login and whatnot, that is.

Just what I need, another internet time-suck update! Meh. Two followers, bizarrely enough. I posted something lackluster, just to say I did. I remain…uhh, unenchanted, shall we say, which I hasten to add is surely not Gab’s fault. The handle is Tommygunmike, if anyone is interested, but I don’t know that I’m in any real hurry to go back, honestly.


5 thoughts on “Fake news, fake everything

  1. I looked at Twitter in 2008 when a group of techies were all gushing about how we needed to be on it. I browsed around for about 15 minutes, and then created my account. I named it “thisispointless”.

    Now, most Twitter accounts are pointless, but I’m one of the few that is intentionally pointless, pretty much always poking fun at something. I also use it to gripe and poke fun at major companies, because their “social media specialists” (read “clueless twenty-somethings who know how to create a Twitter account”) take everything so seriously. I speculated that the scrambled eggs at a Holiday Inn Express had crushed styrofoam as one of the ingredients, and got a reply that they will definitely take that under advisement.

    A recent post is typical: “Shouldn’t the NSA be listed as a follower on every single Twitter account?” Another:

    “Hey, Cortana. What’s the weather?”

    “I don’t know. Why don’t you ask that slut Alexa?”

    But that ten year old account has only about 400 followers, and since I have far better things to do that promote a Twitter account that posts pointless drivel, it will stay that way.

    I have a main account too, created at the behest of technical conference organizers. I finally found a marginal use for Twitter – posting links to demos and samples, that I’ve done and shown in presentations. Plus giving an easy contact point without distributing my email and getting it spammed mercilessly.

    That account has about two thousand followers, and I’ve had to block numerous “social media specialists” who keep contacting me to tell me they can arrange for me to have ten thousand followers. “Why?”, I once asked. “Because then, you’d have… ten thousand followers.” Ten thousand meaningless followers. I don’t understand why people who add no value can be so proud of their work, but as Heinlein said, “Even black widows, body lice, and hyenas have to make a living although I could never see why.”

    1. Obviously if you had ten thousand followers you’d be much more popular than you would with only 400!

      (You’re supposed to realize that to these people, that’s an end itself.)

      I have a Gab account I created last year. I may have made one test tweet from it, I don’t remember. every few weeks, I get an email congratulating me that some rando has followed me.

  2. Twitter’s a good way to hear directly from President Trump, and to watch how he’s waving his laser pointer which the media rats scramble to follow. It’s quite fun, if you don’t take it too seriously! It’s often hilarious, as a simple tweet from Trump causes the #FakeMedia to go quite mad & froth at the mouth, while running into walls!

    Without Twitter, I very much doubt we’d even have President Trump. That platform, which must sorely twist the nipples of the SJWs who own & operate it, allowed Trump to speak directly to large numbers of people without the media “interpreting” everything to mean the opposite of what he said.

    Something else to reflect upon: we don’t have a good source of factual news. All the MSM is converged, and they lie constantly and continually about everything. They lie by commission and omission, and their spin makes dervishes weep; but by reading between the lines on Twitter, the truth can be discerned- through a glass, darkly. The truth is revealed, often by what Twitter chooses to censor or ban.

    It’s worth the price of admission just to read James Woods’ tweets; the man is a master, and one of the very few who regularly buck Hollyweird!

  3. You Bastard. You keep making me think. Dammit it Jim…what do you think I am…a Thinker. God bless you sir. Keep firing. I’ll get your six.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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