Exclusive Networks Of Teens Are Making Thousands Of Dollars By Selling Retweets

Teens and twentysomethings with large Twitter followings are making thousands each month by selling retweets, multiple users who engage in the practice told BuzzFeed News.

The practice is known as “tweetdecking,” so named because those involved form secret Tweetdeck groups, which they call “decks.” Scoring an invite to join a deck generally,normally requires a follower count in the tens of thousands.

Within these decks, a highly organized system of mass-retweeting exists in order to launch deck members’ tweets — and paying customers’ tweets — into meticulously manufactured virality.

Customers, which can include both individuals and 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, nearly 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 elope their own decks frequently earn several thousands of dollars each month, multiple deck owners said.

“It’s the simplest thing ever, every you attain is absorb your friends join and you absorb fun and tweet and earn money,” Kendrik, aka @Simpnmild, an 18-year-conventional from Chicago who runs two of his own decks, said. “It’s the easiest thing ever. No tough work at every.”

As the owner of two decks with approximately 15 people in each, Kendrik works with every sorts of people and 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 it goes viral.

Kendrik said he makes between $3,000 and $5,000 a month doing this, and he pays members of his deck “based on who has the most page activity for the month” via PayPal.

And a 19-year-conventional named Lewie, aka @lxwie, who said he both runs a deck and is a member of another deck, said he makes between $2,000 and $3,000 each month.

“And here we are going viral daily,” said Lewie.

Deck members earn less — but 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,” and many deckers glean suspended as a result. Still, they often return with unique accounts and glean right back in the game.

So, who are these people forking over every this cash for a couple thousand retweets? They range from “small apps, a lot of grown people who want to earn a presence on social media, and some teens who just want to proceed viral,” said Kendrik.

And proceed viral they attain. whether you’ve spent some much time on Twitter in the past year, you’ve probably seen a number of tweets that bizarrely absorb retweets into the tens or even hundreds of thousands. Many of these massively viral tweets approach from decks — and most are plagiarized.

Plagiarized tweets absorb been a fraction of Twitter pretty much since people started making jokes on the site, particularly through current “parody accounts” like @Dory and @GirlPosts, many of which are now elope as full-fledged ad sales businesses.

But the rise of decks has changed the game, allowing pretty much anyone to crash into the biz of stealing tweets for cash. Deck owners, members, and customers are every getting into it in order to increase their own following, and in turn, strengthen the deck’s success and profitability.

Naturally, not everyone’s so delighted to see tweets getting stolen. Members of the self-proclaimed group “Trash Twitter,” a small collective of late-teens and early-twenties guys with current accounts, absorb had their joke tweets stolen several times. Unlike the tweetdeckers, they haven’t seen a dime from it, they said.

“Honestly, it sucks how they can just pick full credit for our tweets, and glean paid,” said Danyal, aka @TrashQuavo, an 18-year-conventional from the UK in the group. “Sometimes we would contrivance a tweet for days just for it to glean stolen.”

“I tweet to absorb fun and give people a laugh,” one of the members, who goes by @TrashYeWest, said. “They just care approximately followers.”

In December, 22-year-conventional Kareem Rose from Virginia, aka @hotlinekream, went viral when he tweeted a thread in which he called out dozens of deck accounts and urged people to block them.

“I was basically tired of seeing the same tweet proceed viral once a week by a different account,” Rose told BuzzFeed News. “Our timelines were basically getting overflowed with tweets we’ve seen before and it honestly made Twitter less enjoyable. Not only that, but we were tired of having our tweets stolen from the deck accounts and them getting the credit for it.”

As his thread gained traction (and, after he tweeted that he was doing an interview approximately it with BuzzFeed News), Rose said several of the tweetdeckers and their fellow deck members began harassing him.

They also began mass-reporting his account, a revenge tactic that trolls frequently exhaust to try and glean people’s accounts locked or suspended. (A spokesperson for Twitter said that Twitter “does not automatically suspend accounts based on a large number of reports.”)

“I was told by multiple accounts that I was being mass-reported by nearly every tweetdecker,” said Rose. “I was also threatened to absorb my private information (address, social security, etc.) leaked, my Twitter account hacked, my family’s information leaked, and I was also threatened to absorb my name be set on pedophile forums.” (Fortunately, those threats were not acted upon, Rose said.)

Rose wound up deleting his thread due to the harassment — but his message persisted, because he and a bunch of his friends started the hashtags #TweetDeckIsOverParty, #TweetDeckWars2017, and #TakeBackOurTimelines2018.

And 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 it, too.

“whether they don’t like you it’s an instant mass-report really,” Danyal said.

A few tweetdeckers acknowledged that they steal tweets, and even agreed it’s a problem. Most excused it by saying everyone does it, so what’s the tremendous deal?

“A lot of the content that deckers tweet are stolen like 90% of the time,” said one 20-year-conventional deck member, who goes by @broebong. “It’s nearly a plague now and I understand why people complain, because it really does glean annoying to see the same tweets recycled over and over and never glean unique content or some type of originality.”

And of course, in the quit, money is money.

“I’m just doing it because it’s easy money and it makes people delighted in the quit,” said @broebong. “People will pay to absorb their stuff promoted to my audience and it’s just additional money that I can set to savings.”

In spite of criticisms, many tweetdeckers remain staunchly defensive of the practice.

“Anyone that tries to account for what tweetdecking is always gets it wrong… When people say it’s ‘fake fame/clout’ it’s also erroneous,” said Kendrik.

“Anything negative towards decks is always erroneous.”

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