There’s only one person in this world who stays above the social media fray, and that's the No. 1 retweet salesman in the world.
After months of intensive research that involved spending an enormous amount of money on fake retweet services, I found him. He is a nameless businessman, but not a faceless one. He is dapper and coy. His company, buyretweet.com, uses his face but has no real address. The answering-machine number suggests he’s based in England.
When using this service, Mr. Retweet has one condition: that you do not accidentally submit a link to your profile. Instead, he wants links only to your specific tweet. Don’t forget that.
When ordering please just give us your tweet URL, just click on the time/date of your tweet and send us that. Not your username etc..— Buy Retweet (@buy_retweet) May 3, 2014
I was surprised to find that the @buy_retweet Twitter page’s tweets, meaning its official Twitter account, had no retweets whatsoever. If it runs such a fancy service, wouldn’t it get some retweets for its own company?
Just got a new supplier, we can now deliver retweets faster :)— Buy Retweet (@buy_retweet) February 12, 2014
I have successfully used this service myself, buying retweets for my friend Katy Kendrick in her attempt to kick off a hashtag and generate some social media buzz. The campaign will eventually lead to me becoming the next host of the U.K.'s late-night news program BBC Newsnight.
I bought 60 retweets for that tweet. They were delivered after 24 hours for around $9. Many people thought that it was actually trending and retweeted it six more times just to show support.
The ability to drop retweets on anyone I like gives me great power. I can change people’s lives by making them cash-in on retweet-related promises, such as these ones:
If this gets one retweet I'm going to leave school early today— Z. Seech (@Zack_Cheech420) December 17, 2013
Retweet if you want me to start a rolling accumulator, I only want to do it if people want it. If this gets more 50+ retweets I'll start one— Boxing Betting Tips (@Tipster4Boxing) March 29, 2014
I could actually make folks do just about anything with the right amount of retweets. Luckily, no one cares who retweeted them or where they came from. It's all about the numbers. Remember: Nothing is unretweetable. In the future, I predict that this business will move on to offer fake subretweets, retweeting someone’s name without actually @-mentioning them.
That'd be downright dirty.
Illustration by Jason Reed