R. Lewis’ Twitter followers purged
Titans veteran RB Murray retiring after seven seasons
Twitter took its “Will the real followers stand up?” show on the road Thursday, beginning a massive purge of fake Twitter accounts and bots.
When the dust settled, dozens of media figures, celebrities and athletes saw their following decimated. Former Ravens and Hall of Fame-bound linebacker Ray Lewis was among them.
In January, The New York Times reported on Devumi, a company that sells followers and retweets to anyone who wants to inflate their social media influence. Lewis’ account, then with over 700,000 followers, was found to be a client.
As of Friday morning, Lewis now carries only 360,000 followers, approximately half of what he once had. Of the remaining 340,000-plus lost to the purge, there is no evidence indicating how many were bought by Lewis. In January, the Times uncovered an email address from Lewis’ personal assistant, Ashley Knight, listed on an order of 250,000 followers, which costs $1,799, according to the company’s rates.
Even so, it’s probably a good thing that, per Devumi’s website, the company has a “money-back guarantee” policy.
Other accounts that lost a sizable chunk of their followings were those belonging to former ESPN reporter and Fox News contributor Britt McHenry, who saw her following shrink from 362,800 to 223,000, and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, who reportedly lost 1 million followers. Murray retires: DeMarco Murray is retiring from the NFL.
The 2014 Offensive Player of the Year and seven-year veteran made the announcement on ESPN on Friday, four months after being released by the Tennessee Titans.
Murray, 30, lost his job to Derrick Henry last season and was due to make $6.25 million in 2018 before the Titans let him go. He ran for 659 yards and six touchdowns last season, dealt with a knee injury late in the year, and missed the Titans' final regularseason game and two playoff contests.
“I think you just wake up,” Murray said. “I've always heard the saying ‘When you know, you know,’ and one day that day will come, and for me, it was the last year or two. I've been constantly thinking about this. Working out still, in great shape, feel great and it's time.
“I just woke up a couple weeks ago and it started to burn and burn and trigger and it got deeper, so this morning I decided to call it a career.”
The Titans acquired Murray in a March 2016 trade with the Eagles. Murray had spent one year with Philadelphia after playing four seasons with the Cowboys. Murray played for Dallas in 2014 when he won the NFL rushing title. Safety studies: The NFL has three new winners of a research competition aimed at improving equipment and player safety.
The league announced the results Thursday along with Football Research Inc. and Duke University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which operates the TECH Challenges.
FieldTurf, Corsair Innovations and Yobel Technologies captured HeadHealthTECH Challenge IV. The goal is to stimulate research and innovation in protective equipment, including helmets, turf systems and shoulder pads.
The TECH Challenge has awarded more than $1.3 million in grants to help advance the development of 11 new technologies.