According to the latest research, Twitter has more than 3.5 lakh fake Twitter accounts. The fake accounts were uncovered by two researchers from the University College London, Juan Echeverria Guzman and Shi Zhou, while they were probing how people use the microblogging site.
As per the researchers, the there are over 350,000 of fake profiles on twitter. In fact, they are still to come out with a detailed explanation and the numbers of fake accounts might go higher than the estimate. Further, they said that these fake profiles were created in 2013 and have gone unnoticed. There serve the purpose of add fake number of followers, send spam, boost interest in trending topics.
Moreover, the fake accounts can anytime trigger fake news, tweets and even spamming, as their accounts are controlled by the botmaster (it is a person who operates the command and control of botnets for remote process execution).
“It is difficult to assess exactly how many Twitter users are bots,” said Juan Echeverria, University College London, who uncovered these fake accounts.
The research began by compiling the sample of one percent of Twitter users in order to get a better understanding of how people use the microblogging site. While doing the research, the data revealed lots of linked accounts, suggesting that one person or group is running the “botnet”. However, these accounts did not act like the bots other researchers had found but were clearly not being run by humans. The tweets were coming from the places where nobody lives, messages were being posted only from Windows phones and exclusively including quotes from Star Wars novels.
The researchers are now asking people to report similar bots to aid further investigation.