Twitter has been flooded with hundreds of identical messages praising Transformers 2 today, and most if not all seem to be from brand new accounts. The accounts don't have any followers and they don't follow anyone, which sounds to us like they're just shills.
But if no one's reading them, why bother?
One reason could be to bias Twitter search results, since these messages will show up in a "Transformers 2" search, which is how we found them. The messages all read:
Im waking up still, got a late start to theday. Oopsy... I watched the new transformers last night at12:01 at night, haha. Super good ...
At first it seemed like just a few, but since we didn't believe so many people were still waking up at 1:00 p.m. EST with the same poor punctuation, we did a search on that entire phrase and found hundreds of similar messages. (We're looking at a search results status that says "1014 more results since you started searching" even as we write this.)
Who's responsible? Some crazed fan trying to tip the balance in favor of his or her favorite film? A viral marketing campaign from an overzealous outside PR firm? We have no idea. When we asked around, we were told that this may or may not happen with other films, but we've been unable to verify that yet.
We reached out to Paramount to see what they had to say about this weird find, but they had no comment.
What do you think is going on?
UPDATE: Shortly after SCI FI Wire went public with this discovery, the flood of repetitive Transformers 2 tweets stopped as mysteriously as it began. Which still doesn't answer the question—who was behind it all?