Investigating The Ecosystem of Fake: Preceding The Times.

Mentionmapp Analytics
3 min readJan 28, 2018


We’re not crazy. High-five! Happy understates how we felt reading the New York Times feature “The Follower Factory.”

And before this article, we have to acknowledge feeling the same way about the work of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism,“Astroturfing, Twitterbots, Amplification — Inside the Online Influence Industry.”

Researching and reporting about the ecosystem of fake has been our focus since November 2016. We’re also okay with the constraints of being a team that’s idea rich, and resource challenged.

While actively observing this complex social stage, understanding how far reaching this network of fake profiles stretches, yet it’s been a little frustrating not being able to pull back the curtain and expose those who are manipulating the strings and profiting from the deceit. Nonetheless, it’s meaningful seeing these issues reaching a much bigger audience.

Going back to May 2017, here is a small curated collection of our work about one specific network of bots/fake (stolen) profiles.

The Doppelgänger Bots. How They’re Using Stolen Social Identities.

Exploiting Twitter Profiles, Bots and Social Risk

How SocialBots are “Attention-jacking” Machines

The BullS**tters & The SocialBots. (Vol. I) Pushing Fake News

The Bullshitters & The SocialBots (Vol. II): Selling Snake Oil

Dr. Duplicitous and Bot Influence

Fake Friends Helping Sell “Easy Street”

The “Top Influencer” and his Fake Friends

This network highlighted by both The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the New York Times is only one, and our research has found others and will keep looking for more. If a problem is unseen, there’s no solution to be found. Our goal to be be part of a conversation that’s about reclaiming cyberspace as a more human place. The Onion sees a slightly different the future, have a watch, and have an irony infused chuckle.

Find Out Why Social Bots Are So Dangerous. The Complete 4-Volume eBook Is Available Now on Patreon Only.

While 2017 is behind us, many of the past years troubling themes are not. We’ve seen investigations into Russia’s interference in the US Presidential Election unfold, CEOs of digital platforms being questioned about how their contributing to the information crisis, along media outlets and information itself being deemed untrustworthy. With few solutions in sight, 2018 is likely to see more of the same.

To help you see through the complexities of this rapidly evolving landscape, we’ve written the four-volume eBook series, Ecosystem of Fake: Bots, Information & Distorted Realities. We invite you to learn more about today’s information battlefield, proposed solutions, and a further reading resource today. Let’s work towards making cyberspace of more human place.


John (CEO & Co-founder)

Mentionmapp Analytics

Mentionmapp Investigates: See if your social reputation is at risk or explore collaborative research opportunities with us. Contact: john [at] mentionmapp [dot] com



Mentionmapp Analytics

Researching and analyzing information threats & risks in the media ecosystem.