Twitter Tries To Put A Stop To Follower-Selling

    August 17, 2009

It seems that Twitter may be taking a stand against the practice of selling followers for cash.  uSocial, an Australian company that became rather infamous for trying something similar with Digg, has apparently been directed to stop spamming the microblogging site. 

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uSocial promises to bring new followers to an existing Twitter account within a given period of time.  Its current pricing scheme starts by charging $87 for 1,000 followers (in 7 days), and tops out at 100,000 followers for $3,479 (in 365 days).

But Leon Hill, uSocial’s CEO, told Patrick Stafford that Twitter’s "basically used Melbourne IT to send through to us all of these spam notices to both our hosting company and to us.  Melbourne IT manages their domain names, so it’s all been done through them, not through Twitter directly."

It sounds like this move may have quite an effect, too, with Hill speculating about his hosting company turning its back on him.

Still, he continued, "None of this worries me too much. . . .  [I]f anything does happen there’s nothing they can do to hurt me.  If they do shut down the site, I can just move it to another host.  If they take some legal action, I am more than willing to face them in court."

So perhaps Alexander Macgillivray, who worked as Google’s associate general counsel for products and intellectual property before joining Twitter, will soon get a chance to show his stuff.