Tweaking Twitter Stats

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Mumbly Joe writes:

I feel compelled to get in touch with you folks to highlight how many tweets articles on Independent.ie are getting.

If you visit an article on their website you’ll see a bar which invites you to recommend on Facebook/Tweet the article and +1 it on Google plus.

Have you noticed how the Twitter button doesn’t actually look like the actual twitter button on most websites?

That’s because it isn’t – it’s a button which opens twitter in a new window.

Using the free service Share-count.com you can check to see
how many actual tweets an article has received.

So take Friday’s Independent article where they talk about their market share – their website’s apparent twitter button says [at time of writing] the piece had recieved 44 tweets.

But if you check the Share-Count website you’ll see the actual figure is 6. 6.

This is a consistent theme over a huge number of their articles.

So how is this possible?

Well Independent.ie’s “Tweet” button isn’t actually recording the number of tweets, just the number of times the button is pressed.

So press it a few times and a window will open to tweet the link, but the counter has already updated.

What this means, is that someone could repeatedly click on that button to drive up the count.

Oh.

But who would do such a THING?

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