Robots are on Twitter, and people pay to have them as followers. That begs the question: What is the worth of a real, live human Twitter follower?

First, the background on fake accounts. A recent New York Times investigation delved into how companies create and sell fabricated Twitter accounts, or bots. These bots are used to do things like automatically retweet posts and inflate people’s follower count.

You don’t have to buy bots to get them as followers. Some are programmed to follow accounts, hoping to lure real people to follow them back. That makes the bot look more believable.

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