There weeks after SFLTV discovered and documented in detail WPLG’s sudden and explosive growth in Twitter followers, last night during the 11pm newscast the station aired a story titled ‘Paying to be popular’, telling viewers they were in fact buying Twitter followers for @WPLGLocal10 but it was just a test. For their on air story.
They basically told viewers everyone’s buying, or implied they had, fake Twitter followers, which is true, ghost accounts are constantly following @sfltv and @sfltvbossman so you get them whether you want to or not.
We noticed as their social media expert talked about trust, WPLG strategically flashed it’s logo on screen, which I thought was interesting.
At the end of the story, Janine Stanwood claimed she was going to start the process of getting rid of the phoney followers, and viewers probably believed her but if you look closely or appears all she did was log out of an account. As of 8:12am @WPLGLocal10 still has 123k followers.
So all of this begs the question, what was the point of this test when WPLG devoted most of the story time to talking about celebs having fake followers, their social media expert, and the celeb reporter lady?
If it was a test, why add 90,000+ followers? Why stop briefly at 80,000 then continue again?
Why, during the #lovelocal10 campaign in September (when by the way they hardly gained any followers at all) did WPLG repeatedly use on-air graphics showing their twitter follower count as 120k when in reality it was around 30,000?
Are you buying what they’re selling or did WPLG just dug themselves in deeper?