From Popularity for Purchase:
- signs and symbols did indicate something real – a message from a friend or family member whom you see and care about
- signs and symbols indicate a false reality – the early stages of Facebook, when people would beef up their friend count with casual acquaintances and friends of friends, and use Like and Follow to build up a “social network“
- Signs that are not backed up by any reality. One hires ad hoc workers to write posts for one’s Facebook page, blog, Twitter feed. One appears to be a prolific writer, well versed on news and culture. One’s friends (the real ones!) are impressed, and notice one’s growing social circle. Then one hires other ad hoc Workers to Like, Follow, and Comment on the material written by the first lot. Your Google Analytics look great; you rank high in the search engines because you hired writers who are good at SEO. Many people leave comments on your site
- One day you wake up to find that (a) no one is interacting on your site except your paid workers and (b) the content you paid for was scraped to other sites and is being used by your new paid workers to write new-old material.
The Internet once again confirms Sturgeon’s Revelation.