I bought 100 twitter bots and all I got was a disappointing email

My university ran a promotion last week where whoever got the most retweets/likes would win a $50 Sheetz gift card. With thoughts of mac ‘n cheese bites and Red Bull dancing around my head, I knew I had to give the contest a shot.

The rules were simple: use the hashtags “#ROCKtober” and “#SRUsuperfan”. I devised my plan early: use a sketchy website to buy retweets and win with ease. After nearly three weeks of waiting, my time had come.

The picture I used was hastily taken and, overall, did not deserve to win anything. However, this didn’t bother me, I was too focused on the thought of walking into Sheetz with $50 burning a hole in my pocket.

Surprisingly, the market for buying likes/retweets is quite popular but I went with the first site I found, Socialshop.co, out of laziness. To be safe, I created a throwaway Twitter account in case I got banned for using bots to generate engagement. I certainly didn’t need 10,000 so I went with the reasonable 100 retweets for $1.89. The process was pretty easy, actually. I entered the URL of my tweet and waited. After 10 minutes, I was concerned I got scammed because there was no activity. My attention was eventually sucked into other things and I stopped F5'ing every 10 seconds.

I checked again.

Perfect, there was no doubt I would win. The closet anyone had come was 10 retweets and 10 likes, no where close to my photo. My dreams were crushed only a few minutes later.

I worked in the same department of those running the contest and was ineligible to win. I’d like to say I went through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance but the actual order was anger straight to depression. There were no listed rules about who could not win. Implied rules be damned, I won by a landslide by fairly exploiting the system. It didn’t matter. Unfortunately, my boss was not willing to go through the paper work of firing me so I could win then rehiring me after I collected my winnings. I was out $2 and did not get to buy all the mac ‘n cheese bites and Red Bull my heart desired.

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