MIAMI (CNET) — Are you fed up with spammy tweets (which could be phishing scams or malware) and fake tweets (which are just plain annoying)?
Designed by a group named StatusPeople, the service looks at your Twitter account to scan a certain number of followers. In return, it tells how many of your followers are good, inactive, or fake.
It informed this article’s author, CNET’s Lance Whitney, that 77 percent of his accounts were good, 19 percent inactive, and 4 percent fake.
You can also get results for other Twitter accounts. Just plug in the name of the account, and the Fake Follower Check displays its percentages.
Based on Whitney’s actual number of Twitter followers, he determined that around 175 accounts are considered fake. Short of scouring through all of his Twitter followers, of course, he can’t confirm whether that number is accurate.
OK, so how do the people behind StatusPeople arrive at their results?
The group says it looks at a sample of your followers, up to 500 accounts, depending on how popular you are. It then determines which ones may be spam accounts based on certain criteria. Accounts that have few or no followers and few or no tweets are suspect. Spammers also tend to follow a huge number of other accounts.
How accurate is the Fake Follower Check? It’s difficult to know without comparing its results against those of a comparable service. And Whitney doesn’t know of any comparable services.
StatusPeople claims that Twitter users with 10,000 or fewer followers will get a “very accurate insight” into how many inactive and fake followers they have.
Unfortunately, the service doesn’t name names, at least not at this point. You may discover the percentage of phony followers, but you can’t find out which specific accounts are phony.
StatusPeople says it’s working to enhance the accuracy of the service and plans to offer a spam removal tool, which presumably would help you track down and remove any accounts that you discover are fake.