Over the past few weeks, we have seen a slew of allegations related to paid tweeters. Ironically, they come from those who make a living out of “delivering news”. And they accuse tweeters for whom twitter is at best a hobby. The accusers are usually journo-tycoons and worth more than the average tweeter by an exponential margin.

 But let us try and examine this in a little more detail.

Check out the Alexa ranking for the top sites visited out of India

Meanwhile, the list of the top 100 tweeters from India is here

In general  media sites corner a bulk of the page views (well, they should, they have all the news). On twitter, some of their leading lights have a huge number of followers – much more than the average hobbyist tweeter.

 A few years ago, one of the biggest media houses in India came up with an idea known as Private Treaty – where they took a stake in a company and paid for that by news and advertisements. Now that was a unique idea in itself – we wont go into the good and bad aspects of it – we leave it for you, intelligent reader to decide.

 So, if you are a politician or a business house or somebody who wants a nice mention in the media – who would you go to?  Tweeters or the big swinging dick media guys? Obviously, the latter. And with good reason. And do remember Page 3 – a “feature” in most newspapers and surely there is an equivalent on TV as well.

If you go to an individual tweeter – how many followers will he or she have? About a handful? A few hundreds, a few thousands? And why are these guys tweeting? Because they make money tweeting? Or because they tweet what they are passionate about? Collectively, they are a force, but individually not worth too much.

 Therefore, the so called “paymaster” of tweeter is fighting a losing battle by “paying” tweeters and how much will they pay? Influential tweeters wont accept money and non influential tweeters wont be paid. Yes, please, do a sting operation by asking some of them if they will tweet for money. If they don’t expose you on twitter the very same minute, consider yourself lucky.  (Last heard a prominent media baron did ask a prominent senior Bollywood star to tweet about their programs and he tweeted their exchange- so much for paid tweeter abuses from journo tycoons.

 So, why are journo tycoons pissed off with tweeters?

Because they ask questions and our mike pointing, finger wagging journo tycoons aint used to that! Tweeters point out the hypocrisy of our media that changes colours faster than a disco chameleon. Tweeters have also made media apologise (while media threatens to sue in return) for faking tweets and being abusive or ignorant among other things. They also, at times, point to the hand in glove association that is the liberal leftist politician-media complex in India which make our media barons very insecure on the internet – which threatens to end their dominance of news and influence. Hence this latest attempt to malign tweeters.

  The next time you hear about paid tweeters and paid media do ask them who takes sponsorships and ads and who does not and there might lie your answer on who is “paid” and who is not.

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A Mumbaikar from Kerala (or is it the other way round), he plans a career in writing on retirement. Till then, he is happy blogging and tweeting away in the right wing space.

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