Jacobin magazine—described variously as either socialist or Marxist—was one of the clients that entered into a voluntary exchange of goods and services on the free market to purchase followers on Twitter, according to a recent report.
In an exposé on the Twitter "follower factory" Devumi, the New York Times fingered Jacobin as one of the American firm's clients. The company sells Twitter followers and retweets to anyone who wants to appear more popular or influential online, providing customers with more than 200 million Twitter followers, the Times found.
Beyond Jacobin, other high-profile clients included conservative former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, among many others. Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, also was a client.
On Twitter, Jacobin editor Micah Uetricht explained that the publication merely did it to entice a powerful multi-millionaire to write for the magazine.
Backstory there is pretty funny: we got the idea to have Kareem Abdul-Jabbar write for us but thought our reach might be too small for him. So we bought about a thousand followers to hit a nice round number, to try to impress his agent.
— Micah Uetricht 🌹 (@micahuetricht) January 27, 2018
Elsewhere, the Hill informed staff that they would not be allowed to purchase fake followers after media columnist Joe Concha was named in the Times report, and the Chicago Sun-Times suspended film critic Richard Roeper for using fake followers.
A print and online subscription to Jacobin may be purchased for $29.95. The publication accepts most major credit cards.