Got a reply from Twitter
26 July 2017
I thought it would be fun to try Twitter ads, and, not surprisingly, I started getting fake followers pretty quickly after I started a Twitter follower campaign.
Since I'm paying nine cents a head for these followers, I don't want to get ripped off. So naturally I put in a support ticket to Twitter, and just heard back.
Thanks for writing in about the quality of followers and engagements. One of the advantages of the Twitter Ads platform is that any RTs of your promoted ads are sent to the retweeting account's followers as an organic tweet. Any engagements that result are not charged, however followers gained may not align with the original campaign's targeting criteria. These earned followers or engagements do show in the campaign dashboard and are used to calculate cost per engagement, however you are not charged for them directly.
Twitter also passes all promoted engagements through a filtering mechanism to avoid charging advertisers for any low-quality or invalid engagements. These filters run on a set schedule so the engagements may show in the campaign dashboard, but will be deducted from the amount outstanding and will not be charged to your credit card.
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to reply.
That's pretty dense San Francisco speak, so let me see if I can translate to the equivalent for a normal product.
Hey, what are these rat turds doing in my raisin bran?
Thanks for writing in about the quality of your raisin bran eating experience. One of the advantages of the raisin bran platform is that during the production process, your raisin bran is made available to our rodent partners as an organic asset.
I paid for raisin bran, so why are you selling me raisin-plus-rat-turds bran?
Any ingredients that result from rodent engagement are not charged, however ingredients gained may not align with your original raisin-eating criteria.
Can I have my money back?
We pass all raisin bran sales through a filtering mechanism to avoid charging you for invalid ingredients. The total weight of the product, as printed on the box, includes these ingredients, but the weight of invalid ingredients will be deducted from the amount charged to your credit card.
So how can I tell which rat turds are "organic" so I'm not paying for them, and which are the ones that you just didn't catch and are charging me for?
Buying Twitter followers: Fiverr or Twitter?
On Fiverr, Twitter followers are about half a cent each ($5/1000). On Twitter, I'm gettting followers for about 9 cents each. The Twitter price is about 18x the Fiverr price.
But every follower that someone else buys on Fiverr has to be "aged" and disguised in order to look realistic enough not to get banned. The bot-herders have to follow legit follower campaigns such as mine and not just their paying customers.
(I call them "sleepers." They do all sorts of natural things (following suggested accounts, tweeting quotes) aging into "trusted" zone.)— Andréa López (@bluechoochoo) July 21, 2017
If Twitter is selling those "follow" actions to me for nine cents each, and the bot-herder is only making half a cent, how is Twitter not making more from bogus Twitter followers than the bot-herders are?
If you're verified on Twitter, you may not be seeing how much of a shitshow their ad business is. Maybe the're going to have to sell Twitter to me sooner than I thought.