“If it’s on the Internet, it must be true,” is the decade-old one-line joke about trusting bad information on the Web.
In today’s social media world concern about credibility is exponentially greater than in the good old days of search when you had to find information on the Internet; now the information finds you.
But how to verify the source? If you’re like most people, you might check and see how many followers or likes a person has, or whose posts are trending. The more followers, the more visibility a poster has, the more credibility right? Well, maybe not.
According to a recent articlein the Wall Street Journal, an increasing amount of social media activity is fake. “If you’re not padding your numbers, you’re not doing it right,” says Jim Vidmar, who buys fake Twitter accounts to increase his or his clients’ social media impact. “It’s part of the game.”
You might try using sites that measure social media impact, like Kred, Klout, or PeerIndex to see how a poster scores. And for Twitter specifically, on the site’s faker’s list for a fee you can find out how many of your own fake followers they have found.
Which brings us back to what we at CommCore tell our clients before they react to a Tweet or a Facebook posting – monitor and verify as much as you can before you trust.