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Publication Detail
Poultry markets: On the underground economy of twitter followers
Since Twitter has emerged as one of the easiest ways of reaching people, companies started using it to advertise their products. However, creating a functional network of followers to whom to promote content is not a straightforward task. On the one side, collecting followers requires time. On the other side, companies need to establish a reputation to motivate users to follow them. A number of websites have emerged to help Twitter users create a large network of followers. These websites promise their subscribers to provide followers in exchange for a fee or limited services free of charge but in exchange for the user's Twitter account credentials. In addition, they offer to spread their clients' promotional messages in the network. In this paper, we study the phenomenon of these Twitter Account Markets, and we show how their services are often linked to abusive behavior and compromised Twitter profiles. © 2012 ACM.
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