An explosive New York Times report has revealed that a significant number of celebrities and outlets in the US purchased fake Twitter followers in order to give the appearance of having a larger online presence.

One of the names mentioned in the report was Richard Roeper, best known for his work with the legendary Roger Ebert in the long-running television series, At The Movies. It's now been reported that Roeper's column and reviews have been suspended by the Chicago Sun-Times while they launch an investigation to confirm whether or not he purchased Twitter followers.

The process of buying fake Twitter followers is called astroturfing, and it's something that's been going on for years, not just in the US but here in Ireland as well. The New York Times' report focused in on one company, Devumi, which specialises in creating fake Twitter accounts which it then sells on to celebrities and influencers, of which it was reported that Roeper was one.

It's now understood that the Attorney General for New York, Eric Schneiderman, is now opening an investigation into the practice as impersonation and deception is illegal under state law.

You can read the full New York Times piece here. 


Via Deadline