Fake Twitter followers offered for a fee

Updated 16 July 2013
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Fake Twitter followers offered for a fee

There are more than 40,000 fake accounts on social media networking sites in Saudi Arabia run by organized individuals, Arab News has discovered. The people running these accounts offer followers to anyone willing to pay money for this unethical service.
“When I reached 4,000 Twitter followers I was sent a request from an account that said it would cost me SR 50 for 1,000 followers. I was tempted by the offer and so I said yes to it,” said a Twitter subscriber.
“All I had to do was transfer the money. The next day I woke up with 5,000 followers and was so excited. But when I looked at the names, I was shocked. I saw names such as Beautiful Soso, Ittihad Lover, Coffee Addict and so on which made me suspicious. When I questioned the person who gave me the followers, he said they were all fake accounts that he managed and if I wanted active followers I would have to pay more to make them active,” he said.
Some Saudi Twitter subscribers are offered money by organizations and businesses to tweet about them. “It is funny how they operate and I was extremely shocked when a well-known clinic in Jeddah sent me a direct message on Twitter asking me to call them. When I did so I was offered SR 500 for each tweet I posted about them,” said a Twitter subscriber with 50,000 followers.
“I was tempted at first to take the offer and thought of only tweeting around 20 or 30 tweets to make some money but then I realized that people who follow me really trust me and really pay attention to what I say and so I rejected the offer. I know they will be targeting someone else with the same offer,” she added.
When Arab News contacted one of the people responsible for the fake Twitter accounts, the man said he guaranteed that no one would find out if we asked for the service. “We subscribe very fast. I have a team working with me in my home office that will access different accounts and follow the buyer,” he said. “We are fast, cheap and secretive so there is no need to worry about anything. All you need to do is transfer the money and we will take care of the rest,” he said.


Japan space probe Hayabusa2 drops hopping rovers toward asteroid

Updated 21 September 2018
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Japan space probe Hayabusa2 drops hopping rovers toward asteroid

  • If the mission is successful, the rovers will conduct the world’s first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid surface
  • The Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014 and will return to Earth with its samples in 2020

TOKYO: A Japanese space probe Friday released a pair of exploring rovers toward an egg-shaped asteroid to collect mineral samples that may shed light on the origin of the solar system.
The “Hayabusa2” probe jettisoned the round, cookie tin-shaped robots toward the Ryugu asteroid, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
If the mission is successful, the rovers will conduct the world’s first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid surface.
Taking advantage of the asteroid’s low gravity, they will jump around on the surface — soaring as high as 15 meters and staying in the air for as long as 15 minutes — to survey the asteroid’s physical features with cameras and sensors.
So far so good, but JAXA must wait for the Hayabusa2 probe to send data from the rovers to Earth in a day or two to assess whether the release has been a success, officials said.
“We are very much hopeful. We don’t have confirmation yet, but we are very, very hopeful,” Yuichi Tsuda, JAXA project manager, told reporters.
“I am looking forward to seeing pictures. I want to see images of space as seen from the surface of the asteroid,” he said.
The cautious announcement came after a similar JAXA probe in 2005 released a rover which failed to reach its target asteroid.
Next month, Hayabusa2 will deploy an “impactor” that will explode above the asteroid, shooting a two-kilo (four-pound) copper object into the surface to blast a crater a few meters in diameter.
From this crater, the probe will collect “fresh” materials unexposed to millennia of wind and radiation, hoping for answers to some fundamental questions about life and the universe, including whether elements from space helped give rise to life on Earth.
The probe will also release a French-German landing vehicle named Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) for surface observation.
Hayabusa2, about the size of a large fridge and equipped with solar panels, is the successor to JAXA’s first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa — Japanese for falcon.
That probe returned from a smaller, potato-shaped, asteroid in 2010 with dust samples despite various setbacks during its epic seven-year odyssey and was hailed a scientific triumph.
The Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014 and will return to Earth with its samples in 2020.