A New York Times report in late January found that Roeper was among many celebrities, journalists and others found to have purchased phony Twitter followers. The Sun-Times had just announced he would write a news column, but immediately suspended him while it determined whether he was aware that he was purchasing “fake” followers.
The Sun-Times noted today that Roeper purchased about 50,000 followers on “at least six separate occasions” from a company called Devumi and another outlet. He spent $650 on the purchases, but claimed he thought these were legitimate Twitter followers.
Since Roeper cooperated, was “genuinely contrite,” and the media outlet had no explicit policy banning purchase of Twitter followers, he was reinstated. He will delete his existing Twitter account and start a new one, agreeing not to purchase followers. The Sun-Times said it would implement a policy banning journalists from paying to acquire followers on social media.