A New York Times investigation published Saturday found that celebrities are turning to a “shadowy global marketplace” that offers them fake social media followers.
Among those who have turned to Devumi, an American company that sells Twitter followers and retweets to “anyone who wants to appear more popular or exert influence online,” is former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. Or at least whoever’s running his Twitter account.
The Times found that the email address for Ashley Knight, Lewis’ personal assistant, was listed on an order for 250,000 followers from Devumi. She denied having made the purchase, but one analysis of his account casts doubt.
According to Twitter Audit, 32 percent of Lewis’ 718,000-plus Twitter followers, or about 217,000 total, are fake.
Joe Flacco doesn’t fare any better. The Ravens quarterback has fewer followers (343,000), but just 54 percent of his followers are legitimate, according to Twitter Audit.
If you, too, would like to see your Twitter microphone amplified with little to no effort, you can buy new followers for about a penny apiece.