I know, Turkeys don’t cluck. Can’e bothered to change it.
I’d love to explain what might have happened, but no-one really knows, so I’ll leave the summing to @Arfness (thanks again) with this thread here.
And while that thread makes interesting reading, here’s the tl;dr:
So, what is going on? Why follow somebody en masse and then unfollow them 48 hours later? I suspect that these are spam accounts that are looking for follow-back. By building a following of credible and “real accounts”, spam accounts can gain a veneer of credibility. It may be something to do with Twitter’s automatic spam detection, or simply a method to look more legitimate to potential ad targets.
I love that I (perhaps inadvertently) got classed as “credible” and a “real account”. It’s two of the nicest things anyone’s ever said about me.
Join me again next week, as – for no apparent reason – my Instagram account is infiltrated by Russian hackers, posing as Iranians.
This one, showing the number of accounts following me who have listed Turkish as their first language.
There were those two on the left when I went to bed last night. And then, suddenly… there were those others as well.
And this one, showing how the the first language of my followers “changed somewhat”:
Decent, normal organic growth of followers on the left, main language: sick-coloured English. Then MASSIVE growth (shape of top of graph is shape of top of Table Mountain), mainly cerise-coloured Turkish.
Over the last couple of days, tweets promoting Turkey’s invasion of Syria containing non-sequitur mentions of trending topics and hashtags have started to pop up, mostly from accounts with few followers created July 2019 or later.
So yes, it’s possible that my twitter account is being used to add legitimacy to these Turkish-based accounts, so that they can continue to spread their pro-Turkey propaganda. It’s a bit like money-laundering, but without any financial gain. Certainly for me.
What happens next? Probably nothing, but then who knows?
Overnight, around 6,000 Turkish-based bots followed me on Twitter.
Here are just a few of them…
The number is wholly coincidental (and will soon be wholly incorrect, as I’m still accumulating high quality followers from Istanbul even as I write).
I don’t know exactly why this is happening, but just for safety’s sake, I’m going to limit my tweeting pertaining to the current situation in Northern Syria for the moment, as I’m concerned that any three letter codeword involving a P and a couple of Ks could set them all off which would make my account even more unusable.
Hopefully, twitter will note this unusual activity and will clamp down on them (and not me), allowing me to return to my regular* (and entirely justified) criticism of R3c3p Erd0gan.
UPDATE: Despite some amazing data analysis by @arfness, we’re still none the wiser. He did make some amazing graphs though.