Investigative team Sadbottrue has own technologies for data gathering and for meta-analysis of big data. We focused on findings and explanation of anomalies that influence on the tech companies. We are fighting against the social media and advertising fraud ecosystem.
Chapter 14. Nobody from Nowhere. Part One
The true story
This the story about the ordinary guy became famous in one day.
It was November 2, 2014. Suddenly rising hashtag attracted the attention of journalists,
Huffingtonpost.com For most teenage stars, the rise to fame comes from a combination of stage parenting and a talent for singing, acting or just looking cute. But thanks to the Internet, one teenager just became famous for bagging groceries.
Yahoo.com Um, OK. But how did he become so famous? Short answer: Because … the Internet?
NYtimes.com… the hashtag ... became a trending topic. (Yet the dark side of this marvel…)
CNN.com Please don't ask us to explain the Internet.
Everybody saw it, nobody could explain. There was a rather interesting set of proposals, but no one was able to uncover the hidden ways of promotion. It’s not funny, it’s not singing, it is not something amazing. This is not what you want to share. This is not what even teen girls want to share. Virality coefficient is zero. Just looking at an event a few years later, it is possible to learn and understand. Or at least, a little more than a year.
The main question of this story: Who told us that this (or any other) person is popular?
It was twitter trend list. Is this a reliable source? Can someone manipulate it?
If it can be used to get the attention at the subject and, more importantly, the confidence, so many people and companies want to get there. This is an easy way to the customers. It appears the ad market. When it comes to money, people come up with different ways to achieve their goals.
Do you remember what happened a few years ago with the search results? You can order the rise of its site for the keyword using black SEO. Making the hashtag trending is possible with the same technologies. There are no fundamental differences. Let's look at the example.
Account @auscalum, which was the starting point of the marvel.
It was registered May 29, 2014. It took only 5 months to become a launching pad for rise of the surprise of the year. It named as an abbreviation: Aus[tralia] Calum [Hood]. It is the bass guitarist of boy band 5 seconds of Summer. What happens to @auscalum now?
What means Saved? It is a common name for the restarted accounts after the removal of all data. This means that changes of account completed and it became a blank for future bots. Hundreds of thousands of the accounts in Twitter have the same name.
All tweets and followers have been deleted after November 2014. Account @auscalum has become inactive. But August 30, 2015, it got a new mission. In that day it made 792 tweets with #ShesKindaHotVMA, first at 4:36 AM, last at 4:38 PM.
What happened on August 30? 5 Seconds of summer won MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS as a song of the summer.
Let's see what contribution made to this victory @auscalum.
There were 7 tweet sessions with retweets of 5SOS or affiliated accounts therebetween.
1. 101-298 4:36 AM 5:04 AM and retweet ofMichael Clifford (65K retweets and 59K likes) between 116 and 117.
2. 298-303 9:02 AM - 9:03 AM
3. 5 retweets of 5SOS affiliated accounts with #ShesKindaHotVMA
4. 330-151 in reverse as retweets of@xorims between 7:57 AM and 10:03 AM
5. 400-500 12:32 PM - 12:43 PM
6. 3 retweets of 5SOS affiliated accounts with #ShesKindaHotVMA
7. Retweet ofLuke Hemmings with # (130K retweets and 130K likes)
8. 500-600 2:31 PM 2:42 PM (all of them has 2 retweets).
9. 700-601 as retweets of@ovorims in the reverse order.
10. 701-800 4:20 PM - 4:38 PM
On average, during two sessions it made 10 tweets in a minute includes the three-digit number and a hashtag. Try to do it, that’s no easy as it seems.
One of the accounts @auscalum retweeted was @ovorims
Absolutely a similar account. It has 412 votes for 5SOS to take VMA.
Let’s look at the followers of @auscalum.
Among the 12 followers, we see another account with name Saved @xorims
It has a link for @rimsxo as @auscalum. This is not the only similarity. It seems that this is the same account.
It has 803 tweets with #, about 30 retweets of affiliated accounts, one retweet of official 5SOS (55K), and two tweets mentioned above (130K and 65K).
If you add only the three of tweets, you get 250K votes on the last day. And that's not counting votes made by egg accounts and fake fans.
It not the only account here, which helped 5SOS to win the award.
Another one is Marina Kravchenko @Ryan_Pashter22 (Russia). She took part in #ShesKindaHotVMA party by retweeting of fake account of Luke Hemmings.
She also made hundreds of retweets and likes of official @5SOS and all its guys.
The next is Kate Marshmallow @katemarsh45
This account also was used for rising #ShesKindaHotVMA. It retweets not only official account @5SOS …
… but nonofficial clones with fake fandom.
It another name created by use a part of Calum Hood. Funny, but she registered as Lilly Lee (something familiar, doesn’t it?), and then she changed her last name to Murphy. She has a lot of retweets and likes of different youtubers and viners, funny and parody accounts. Sometimes between retweets of 5SOS guys we can meet our old friend.
Have you noticed that we never mentioned hashtag and the name of the main character? What do you think, why?
The bot fact
The most amazing Twitter campaign 2014 was started by bot.
The sad question
Do we really understand how social media work?