Rand Fishkin on Twitter Bots and Elon Musk’s Fake Followers

does rand know

Only a human knows if they are human or not (barring any existential philosophical crisis), and only a bot knows for sure that it’s a bot. Then there is a grey zone where bots are guided by humans and humans use automation that makes them seem a bit more like a bot.  Enough on that… 🙂 Elon, Twitter and to be honest, every social media platform has a problem with Bots.

Rand Fishkin and I go way back to the Search Engine Strategies conferences in the early 2000s where we both spoke and presented regularly. It was fantastic to get a chance to catch up with Rand for this podcast. Rand is Cofounder & CEO of SparkToro, Cofounder of Moz.com, author of Lost and Founder, tech entrepreneur, blogger, and SEO pioneer. In this segment, Rand and I discuss Rand’s recent collaborative study of Twitter users which, after analyzing Elon Musk’s 93 million followers, determined that 23 percent of them were fake. (using a reasonable, conservative  definition).

Sparktoro-chart

The increasingly famous chart.

Catch our full interview where we cover the Sparktoro origin story, Twitter’s failure to create a brand-safe environment, the emotional costs of being on Twitter, deficiencies in Twitter’s ad platform, why the First Amendment doesn’t apply to Twitter, and other issues germane to digital and social media marketing.