Hey Twitter, is Surfermom77 a Russian Account?

0
959

Hey Twitter, have a question for you, but first…

Let’s compare the political advertising ban at Twitter to the “Earned Media” impact that a fake profile can have when multiplied one-thousand-fold.

Since the eMarketing Association is all about Marketing & Advertising, let’s look at how a photo by an Advertising Photographer’s stock image ended up in Trump’s Whistle-blower Tweet.

It seems when Trump retweeted Surfermom77 tweet (account no longer exists) naming the whislteblower, he didn’t have the eye I’ve developed for stock photos. I’ve written about the scourge of fake profiles for years, including the 2014 article re LinkedIn’s problem. 

Stock photos have a certain look, a certain professional lighting and pose. Even the models ted to have a certain look. So when I looked at the cache of the twitter account of Surfermom77 I immediately suspected the account was fake.

The internet advertising world deals with fake impressions and fake clicks all the time and we also deal with content farms and negative SEO. The net is rife with fakes.

A bit of detective work by me as an old-time SEO professional leads me here the Google Cache of the twitter account:

Which then after a bit more sleuthing and use of TinEye leads me here, the Getty Images pic (which for some reason I can’t find as licensable on Getty anymore):

Which then leads me here to the photographer’s website as his name is in the image:

Terry Vine https://terryvine.com/ABOUT/1 is a noted and prolific advertising and marketing photographer.

So, one of Poor Terry’s stock images ends up in what many would say is an illegal tweet and re-tweet.

So, hey Twitter, it would be really great if you pulled your login data from Surfermom77 from the day it was created till the day it was deleted and looked to see if the IP addresses are known proxies. The Russians are too smart to tweet from Russian IP addresses, but they may be using proxy servers that have been identified as ones used by Troll Farms.

Does it change the fact if that account is not only fake but Russian? Not really, but it would be a bit fun to know.