An analysis suggests that brands such as Pepsi, Mercedes-Benz and Louis Vuitton and celebrities including Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev and the rapper 50 Cent might have bought large numbers of fake Twitter followers. Italian security researchers studied follower-acquisition rates, and found suspicious statistical elements of the brands' data. Representatives of some of those mentioned in the study denied paying for fake followers, crediting sudden surges in follower counts to successful promotional campaigns.

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