Did you know there is a black market for fake followers? Of course you do. With a system with no checks and balances for even rudimentary verification, it is inevitable.
But the New York Times just got the memo. Golly, you just wouldn't believe it...
Except that everything about social media is based on fiat trust -- I have to believe, for instance, the number of hits I see is actually the number of hits that correspond to reality.
Except I don't actually know for a fact. Sometimes I can, but other times, I don't know.
I don't go out of my way to get followers. I don't spend time cultivating it because I am not a social media addict. I can either write and research...or I can skimp and promote.
Or cheat. I can buy fake followers and use puffery.
Which would really work great on a website dedicated to truth in media, wouldn't it?
There is an overload these days. I wouldn't call it an information overload because there are too few facts out there.
We have an illogic/sophistry/propaganda/opinion overload, yes.
And you can puff up your presence with fake people.
You can psyche out journalists and a few jealous people, but that's about it.
It's no longer a status symbol, and that does not bode well for this medium at all.