I think I may have discovered something gross. Working for an organization in the midst of a public crisis—I can't reveal the organization's identity, lest the crisis deepen if anyone finds out they've hired a tramp like me as a consultant—I search Twitter to see what people are saying about their issue.
Thus, I cut sideways through everybody's little Folllowing/Followers club, seeing a cross-section of Twitter—just whatever people are saying about this particular issue.
And what do I find?
A lot of identical tweets—same smart-ass remark, same peculiar grammar and punctuation, same everything.
What the Holtz is going on here? Is this "astrotwitter," a new form of astroturfing? And if so, how do the creepy astrotwits initiate the campaign—how do they get people to post this 140-character boilerplate, misleading their followers into thinking it's their original thought? And if it spreads—like "ghosttwittering" appears to be doing—what are the implications for Twitter as a place for organic, spontaneous self-expression?
Et tu, Twitter? Is nothing sacred?