Numerous pay-for-service social media accounts on Friday ran a parallel marketing campaign to bury FIJ’s investigation into unwholesome enterprise practices by Landwey Investment Limited, a Lagos-based actual property enterprise that took funds from a number of purchasers with out delivering housing.
An investigative report by FIJ had detailed Landwey’s a number of failed multimillion-naira real-estate schemes, and its fraudulent advertising and marketing methods which ensnared quite a few victims.
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‘Landwey, Money Heist’: A Real Estate Company With Access To Power Is Getting Away With Daylight Ponzi was revealed at about 6:30am on Friday. Just a few hours later, #LandWey topped the developments desk on microblogging platform Twitter, for Nigeria.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN — AND WHY?
A click on on the Landwey hashtag led to quite a few tweets from Twitter handles recognized for operating paid promoting. The amount of pro-Landwey tweets peaked simply round 9 am. FIJ noticed that many of the tweets had been pleas for favours and financial institution money transfers punctuated with the Landwey hashtag. Some Twitter handles had ordered the tweets to have an effect on the developments on the microblogging platform.
Trends are essential variables on social media and Twitter makes it simpler for customers to dictate developments. So, social media influencers make it their job to use the developments desk to make customers see solely what they need the customers to see.
According to Twitter, “Trends are decided by an algorithm and, by default, are tailor-made for you based mostly on who you comply with, your pursuits, and your location. This algorithm identifies matters which can be widespread now, fairly than matters which were widespread for some time or each day, that will help you uncover the most well liked rising matters of dialogue on Twitter.”
To put it merely, social media figures can affect a large pool of customers and followers to tweet one key phrase a number of thousand instances in order that the key phrase rises on the developments desk merely for being repeated a number of instances.
In this case, influencers comparable to Dami Adenuga requested their followers to say what they wished in a lottery that might land them money items. All they needed to do was embody the Landwey hashtag or ‘Landwey’ as a key phrase in each tweet. This means, a number of thousand tweets appeared beneath Dami Adenuga’s and comparable influencers’ tweets with the Landwey hashtag.
The giant pool of responses asking for assist and money items with the Landwey hashtag was one a part of the paid influencers’ sport. A second a part of the influencers’ technique was the intermittent tweeting and re-tweeting of optimistic content material about Landwey, utilizing the Landwey hashtag.
Any Twitter consumer who clicked on the Landwey hashtag earlier than midday on Friday couldn’t simply discover FIJ’s report — the report was buried within the multitude of pleas for money items and eulogies tweeted about Landwey. That multitude of tweets was a smokescreen for potential readers of FIJ’s investigative report on Landwey.
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Dami Adenuga tweeted about paying tweeps with cash from sponsors on Friday.
That many of the optimistic feedback got here from Twitter accounts used for model promotion, social media advertising and marketing and commercial was no shock. Twitter accounts just like Dami Adenuga’s obtain cash or incentives from sponsors to make a specific key phrase or narrative widespread for a while on-line.
Blue requested one of many influencers for N20,000 round 9 am.
Influencers deleted their tweets urging tweeps to ask for cash with the Landwey hashtag
Dami Adenuga and quite a lot of social media influencers have since deleted their tweets asking tweeps to tweet a sure means for Landwey, however the responses stay.
Most of the tweets with the Landwey hashtag didn’t reply to the substance of FIJ’s investigation. The #Landwey tweets had been optimistic printouts reproduced and re-tweeted word-for-word in a copy-and-paste method.
Amplifying this as a result of these #LandWey of us have employed influences to drown this story out right this moment.
LandWey is a ponzi scheme! https://t.co/M2YqzzckeK
— David Hundeyin (@DavidHundeyin) June 30, 2023
The preliminary try by the paid social media influencers may need prevented some Nigerians from discovering FIJ’s report on Landwey however just a few notable accounts have identified Landwey’s social media warfare in opposition to the story.
FIJ’s story would ultimately generate the readership it deserved, with many Twitter customers commenting on the a number of fraud in the actual property trade normally, investigative journalist David Hundeyin writing: “Amplifying this as a result of these #LandWey of us have employed influences to drown this story out right this moment. LandWey is a ponzi scheme!”