Updated: Who's bad! Michael Jackson "bought" Twitter followers from uSocial

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Picture: Raoul Orozco

Picture: Raoul Orozco

According to controversial “paid follower” service uSocial.net, Michael Jackson (or, more likely, his people) attempted to buy 25,000 followers for his Twitter account before he died.

“I can’t admit that we dealt with Michael Jackson directly, though we were in touch with someone in his family recently who tasked us with conducting a Twitter campaign on an account relating to him,” said uSocial.net CEO Leon Hill. “It was exciting to say the very least to conduct work with such a big name.”

Apparently, they’re still working on delivering the 25,000: “For obvious reasons we’ll be dealing with his family from here on in, though it would have been great to conduct services for Michael Jackson in a different time, under different circumstances.”

This doesn’t mean anything, besides the fact that whoever was looking after Michael Jackson’s Twitter account was an idiot. But it does show just how far behind most of the world is with its Twitter literacy (oh, hell, let’s do it: twitteracy). The biggest star in the world wouldn’t have needed any help with follower numbers.

In December, uSocial (whose practices are abhorrent, which is why I’m not providing a link to their site) received a cease-and-desist notice from lawyers acting for Digg.com regarding its paid social bookmarking service. They ignored the letter.

Update: It appears that @michaeljackson wasn’t active until after Jackson’s death, which makes Leon Hill’s claims… “disingenuous” at best.

I don’t know if this counts as a disclosure or not, but some readers will be aware of my own HIStory – geddit? – with Michael Jackson. If you missed the #moonwalk, there’s a much more impressive virtual one here. And if you still haven’t got your fix of virtual MJ, try this.
  • http://www.fuzzone.com Fuzz One

    How do verifiable is this?
    Seems like everyone is jumping on the MJ bandwagon for free PR

    • Myra

      I agree

  • http://www.twitter.com/jonrussell Jon

    Ah, you got the ‘press release’ too.

    This is really stretching the term news, just for a little free PR, as Fuzz One says.

  • http://www.valebrity.com Steven Livingstone-Perez

    Not convinced. There was NO official MJ account until around the 8th July (after his death) and we only validated it as a tribute account …


  • Gary Glitter

    uSocial is AWFUL. absolute fail

  • http://somerandomnerd.com SomeRandomNerd

    Considering what his death revealed of his Facebook popularity, it would have been a pretty pointless exercise;

  • http://aliakbar.org Ali A. Akbar

    Bogus story. I was follower 180 or so. It was going around some of the community and just hasn’t made the proper rounds. He didn’t buy followers and only 4,000 of us happen to catch it.

    Note – the profile wasn’t even active until after his death.


  • Look

    Why don’t you just buy Valleywag and get it over with!

  • http://www.surskeeg.com Robert Fisher

    Why is it that companies fail they don’t stop they just keep failing over and over and bury themselves pretty deep? SCO did this with their Unix code battle…..

  • http://www.freakyidea.com Anuj

    Follow My twitter :D. Get latest ideas and otherstuffs

  • http://www.technologyslice.com.au Technology Slice

    Everyone has something to say after the guy dies.

  • http://askbusinesscoach.wordpress.com courtney benson

    WHO CARES, IS this NEWS? This kind of ‘news’ is symptomatic of the idolatry & distraction that we need not focus on. If you like this type of news go pay Rubert at News Corp – he’s going to start charging for it.

    • http://www.fuzzone.com Fuzz One

      Proof that our generation is suffering from information overload.

      ‘junk news’ make you bloated with useless information

  • Ed

    “said uSocial.net CEO Leon Hill” shame shame shame. Hope this kills his company, or at least his position.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Holly_McBain/1044291240 Holly McBain

    When is this going to end?

    I know – never.

    Geeze, let the man rest in peace. It was probably AG, the tour promotion company that did this anyway not MJ.


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Georgios_V_Efstratiadis/595843932 Georgios V. Efstratiadis

    1. makes no sense…
    2. who really cares?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ziggy_Tek/100000023873168 Ziggy Tek

    Funny how so many people are still trying to cash in from the man’s death. I guess it’s nothing new. Michael Jackson wouldn’t have needed any company to buy him followers. Dude could have just shown up on Twitter and some tech site would have picked up on it and it would have blown up. Plus he was going on tour which would have helped gather more followers. http://ziggytek.com/

  • http://www.pieto.com Piet

    Shortly before his death, Michael Jackson was negotiating with my company to buy (fill in your product/service here). We cannot confirm or deny that he was personally conducting these negotiations.

  • Cog

    I received this crappy little press release from uSocial, myself.

    I found it so disgusting — with an aftertaste of creepy — that I nearly fired back a note about how they could cease sending the press releases because I’ll never take them seriously.

    But nah. A quick delete served just as well.

  • http://www.guiaslocal.com Guias Local

    this is a funny article. They did this to promote their company lol.

  • http://thenewdorktimes.com/2009/08/10/who%e2%80%99s-bad-claim-says-michael-jackson-%e2%80%9cbought%e2%80%9d-twitter-followers/ Who’s bad? Claim Says Michael Jackson “Bought” Twitter Followers : The New Dork Times

    […] Who’s bad! Michael Jackson “bought” Twitter followers from uSocial (uk.techcrunch.com) […]

  • http://www.allurefx.com Sekhar Ravinutala

    Michael Jackson was hardly a well known figure. I can see why he had to buy followers.

    • Anon Imus

      Not well known?
      You either live in a hole or are just another hater.

      • Sarah
      • http://www.allurefx.com Sekhar Ravinutala

        Anon, that was obviously a big time sarcasm. My point was MJ is the last guy to need to buy followers. I mean, he’s easily the best known figure on this planet.

      • Ofo

        I so agree with Sekhar… I mean he collapsed most of the social networking sites, top 10 trending words were about him.. If he wanted followers he could have had them in an instant.

      • Ed

        Social Skills?

  • Anon Imus

    What’s wrong with what they’re doing? Getting paid for people and companies to rank higher on search engines? U mean getting paid for that is WRONG?

    Well then, i guess all techcrunch events are pretty much all evil too then. Charging startups up the ass to get publicity and thus higher rankings..

    • Ed

      I think the wrong here is the fact that they press released confidential client information dead or not. And now it appears he was not even a client, so it was purely unethical media grab.

  • http://mec.fi/2009/08/10/twitteria-vasta-alkajille/ Twitteriä vasta-alkajille « Blogi

    […] jos jonkinmoisesta yrityksesta saa lukea säännöllisesti. Viimeisinmpänä esimerkiksi kävi ilmi, että Michael Jacksonille pyrittiin ostamaan seuraajia Twitteriin. Kattava lista esimerkkejä […]

  • http://www.ignimedia.com tenthings

    did michael jackson die?

  • Ed

    From reading all the posts here, I have a sneaking suspicion that “Anon Imus” is wearing a white glove at this very moment.

  • http://esarcasm.com dt

    yes, the press release was irresistible in its ridiculousness. but michael jackson isn’t the only dead celeb worried about his social media peeps. walter cronkite, ed mcmahon, and farrah fawcett did something similar. see…




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