Obama has millions of fake Twitter followers, says report
Fake Twitter followers is a topic that will just not go away. There was the recent report about Louise Mensch gaining 40,000 ‘fake Twitter followers’ overnight and former Conservative parliamentary candidate Mark Clarke before that.
Now The New York Times is reporting that as many as 70% of Barack Obama’s 18.8 million followers could be fake.
It quotes a report by social media management firm StatusPeople, which claims it can work out how many fake followers you have.
Status People makes its calculations based on the premise that fake accounts tend to follow a lot of people, but have few followers of their own.
You can see a lot of these fake followers yourself quite easily by glancing through a suspect account’s list of followers as most have the default Twitter egg avatar and have not tweeted.
Rob Waller, a founder of StatusPeople, said: “We then combine that with a few other metrics to confirm the account is fake.
If accurate, the number of fake followers out there is surprising. According to the StatusPeople tool, 71 percent of Lady Gaga’s nearly 29 million followers are “fake” or “inactive.” So are 70 percent of President Obama’s nearly 19 million followers, The New York Times reports.
It also estimates that a good proportion of the followers of Obama’s Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, could also be fake. Romney is a long way behind Obama in the Twitter stakes and currently has just over 900,000 followers.
Both campaigns have denied buying followers and no doubt some of the fake accounts following the two candidates will be unwanted spammers.
Spam followers tend to follow high profile accounts such Lady Gaga, who Status People estimates could have a similar number of fakes to Obama. Lady Gaga currently has 28.6 million followers and 71% could be fakes or inactive.
Last August Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who lost out to Romney in the race for the GOP nomination, quickly amassed 1.3 million Twitter followers and according to Gawker a whopping 80% of those followers may have been fake accounts. Gingrich currently has 1.4 million followers.