Teens in addition to twentysomethings with large Twitter followings are producing thousands each month by selling retweets, multiple users who engage within the practice told BuzzFeed News.
The practice will be known as “tweetdecking,” so named because those involved form secret Tweetdeck groups, which they call “decks.” Scoring an invite to join a deck usually requires a follower count within the tens of thousands.
Within these decks, a highly organized system of mass-retweeting exists in order to launch deck members’ tweets — in addition to paying customers’ tweets — into meticulously manufactured virality.
Customers, which can include both individuals in addition to brands, pay deck owners to retweet one or more of their tweets a specified number of times across deck member accounts. Some decks even allow customers temporary access to the deck, almost like a short-term subscription to unlimited deck retweets. Single retweets tend to cost around $5 or $10. Week- or monthlong subscriptions can cost several hundreds of dollars, depending on the deck’s popularity.
People who run their own decks frequently make several thousands of dollars each month, multiple deck owners said.
“which’s the simplest thing ever, all you do will be have your friends join in addition to you have fun in addition to tweet in addition to make money,” Kendrik, aka @Simpnmild, an 18-year-old through Chicago who runs two of his own decks, said. “which’s the easiest thing ever. No hard work at all.”
As the owner of two decks with about 15 people in each, Kendrik works with all sorts of people in addition to brands who want their tweets seen by the deck’s massive collection of followers. These customers pay a few hundred dollars to gain temporary access to the Tweetdeck so they can retweet themselves across several of the powerful deck accounts, pretty much ensuring which goes viral.
Kendrik said he makes between $3,000 in addition to $5,000 a month doing which, in addition to he pays members of his deck “based on who has the most page activity for the month” via PayPal.
in addition to a 19-year-old named Lewie, aka @lxwie, who said he both runs a deck in addition to will be a member of another deck, said he makes between $2,000 in addition to $3,000 each month.
“in addition to here we are going viral daily,” said Lewie.
Deck members make less — although not insignificant — amounts of money. Several members of decks said they earn hundreds of dollars each month just for retweeting tweets onto their account.
Tweetdecking violates Twitter’s spam policy, which does not allow users to “sell, purchase, or attempt to artificially inflate account interactions,” in addition to many deckers get suspended as a result. Still, they often return with fresh accounts in addition to get right back within the game.
So, who are these people forking over all which cash for a couple thousand retweets? They range through “tiny apps, a lot of grown people who want to make a presence on social media, in addition to some teens who just want to go viral,” said Kendrik.
in addition to go viral they do. If you’ve spent some much time on Twitter within the past year, you’ve probably seen quite a few tweets which bizarrely have retweets into the tens or even hundreds of thousands. Many of these massively viral tweets come through decks — in addition to most are plagiarized.
Plagiarized tweets have been a part of Twitter pretty much since people commenced producing jokes on the site, particularly through favorite “parody accounts” like @Dory in addition to @GirlPosts, many of which are today run as full-fledged ad sales businesses.
although the rise of decks has changed the game, allowing pretty much anyone to break into the biz of stealing tweets for cash. Deck owners, members, in addition to customers are all getting into which in order to boost their own following, in addition to in turn, strengthen the deck’s success in addition to profitability.
Naturally, not everyone’s so happy to see tweets getting stolen. Members of the self-proclaimed group “Trash Twitter,” a tiny collective of late-teens in addition to early-twenties guys with favorite accounts, have had their joke tweets stolen once or twice. Unlike the tweetdeckers, they haven’t seen a dime through which, they said.
“Honestly, which sucks how they can just take full credit for our tweets, in addition to get paid,” said Danyal, aka @TrashQuavo, an 18-year-old through the UK within the group. “Sometimes we might plan a tweet for days just for which to get stolen.”
“I tweet to have fun in addition to give people a laugh,” one of the members, who goes by @TrashYeWest, said. “They just care about followers.”
In December, 22-year-old Kareem Rose through Virginia, aka @hotlinekream, went viral when he tweeted a thread in which he called out dozens of deck accounts in addition to urged people to block them.
“I was basically tired of seeing the same tweet go viral once a week by a different account,” Rose told BuzzFeed News. “Our timelines were basically getting overflowed with tweets we’ve seen before in addition to which honestly made Twitter less enjoyable. Not only which, although we were tired of having our tweets stolen through the deck accounts in addition to them getting the credit for which.”
As his thread gained traction (in addition to, after he tweeted which he was doing an interview about which with BuzzFeed News), Rose said several of the tweetdeckers in addition to their fellow deck members began harassing him.
They also began mass-reporting his account, a revenge tactic which trolls frequently use to try in addition to get people’s accounts locked or suspended. (A spokesperson for Twitter said which Twitter “does not automatically suspend accounts based on a large number of reports.”)
“I was told by multiple accounts which I was being mass-reported by nearly every tweetdecker,” said Rose. “I was also threatened to have my private information (address, social security, etc.) leaked, my Twitter account hacked, my family’s information leaked, in addition to I was also threatened to have my name be put on pedophile forums.” (Fortunately, those threats were not acted upon, Rose said.)
Rose wound up deleting his thread due to the harassment — although his message persisted, because he in addition to a bunch of his friends commenced the hashtags #TweetDeckIsOverParty, #TweetDeckWars2017, in addition to #TakeBackOurTimelines2018.
in addition to Rose isn’t the only person who says he faced harassment when he spoke out against the tweetdeckers. Several “Trash Twitter” members said they’ve experienced which, too.
“If they don’t like you which’s an instant mass-report truly,” Danyal said.
A few tweetdeckers acknowledged which they steal tweets, in addition to even agreed which’s a problem. Most excused which by saying everyone does which, so what’s the big deal?
“A lot of the content which deckers tweet are stolen like 0% of the time,” said one 20-year-old deck member, who goes by @broebong. “which’s almost a plague today in addition to I understand why people complain, because which truly does get annoying to see the same tweets recycled over in addition to over in addition to never get fresh content or some type of originality.”
in addition to of course, within the end, money will be money.
“I’m just doing which because which’s easy money in addition to which makes people happy within the end,” said @broebong. “People will pay to have their stuff promoted to my audience in addition to which’s just extra money which I can put to savings.”
In spite of criticisms, many tweetdeckers remain staunchly defensive of the practice.
“Anyone which tries to explain what tweetdecking will be always gets which wrong… When people say which’s ‘fake fame/clout’ which’s also false,” said Kendrik.
“Anything negative towards decks will be always false.”