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Fake Twitter accounts and the 2016 presidential election

Recent poll results in swing states sent me running to FiveThirtyEight.com to be reassured that Donald Trump has no chance to be elected president. I didn’t quite find what I was looking for, but I found another article entitled “Everyone Has Fake Twitter Followers, But Trump Has The Most. Sad!“. What I expected to see was that a huge proportion of Trump’s 7.58 million Twitter followers were ones that he bought. I didn’t quite find that either.

What I did find was that all of the presidential candidates had fake Twitter followers, with Trump leading at 9% as tabulated by social media analysis company Status People (FiveThirtyEight.com reported 8% fake for Trump, but I got a more recent number from Status People just now). And what I also found was that 61% of Trump’s followers had themselves tweeted less than 100 times and 51% had not tweeted at all in the past 100 days, casting a cloud over the legitimacy of those accounts.

Trump was also accused of using fake accounts to tweet supporting messages about him.

There have been stories about Twitter followers being bought (Twitter tries to discourage such things), but one of the things that happens in the process of running a fake Twitter following business is that in order not to be detected, those businesses also follow other random accounts to mask their true customer. That means more fakes for everybody. It may be that following someone is also a kind of spam, an attempt to gain reciprocal followers.

Status People says that I have 19% fake followers, and 51% have not tweeted in 100 days, meaning that the majority of my 641 Twitter followers aren’t real people interested in what I have to say about #birthers. (Fake followers of @DrConspiracy are way up since I last checked is 2013.)

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13 Responses to Fake Twitter accounts and the 2016 presidential election

  1. avatar
    Dave May 10, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

    I have the bad habit of spending too much time during Presidential elections on 538, and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Charlie Cook’s site seeking reassurance that just isn’t to be had.

    Actually, at the moment both Cook and Sabato show electoral college maps that overwhelmingly favor the Democrats. But it’s not likely to stay that way.

  2. avatar
    CRJ May 11, 2016 at 11:41 am #

    2% are Fake, 19% inactive, 79% Good ! That probably is the best Twitter Report for any Presidential Candidate.
    https://twitter.com/CodyRobertJudy/status/730420380926656512

    The audacity of authentism has been my guide.. Just keeping it real.. Whatever it is.

    Que.. 4, 3, 2, 1.. Let the slams begin.😂

  3. avatar
    bob May 11, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    “Fake” is an apt descriptor of Judy’s “campaign.” “Inactive” would be misleading because that implies Judy’s campaign was ever at some point actually active.

  4. avatar
    Daniel May 11, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

    CRJ: 2% are Fake, 19% inactive, 79% Good ! That probably is the best Twitter Report for any Presidential Candidate.

    1. You’re not a Presidential candidate, in any real sense of the word. The reality is you’re no more a Presidential Candidate than I am, or anyone else here is, or my dog is.

    2. Why would anyone bother faking a twitter account for you or against you? People do that for actual candidates, and only if they’re important enough to matter. Neither criteria fit your situation.

    If you consider the recitation of reality to be “slamming”, then I am happy to oblige.

  5. avatar
    Keith May 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

    I have one Twitter account.

    I ‘follow’ one other twitter account with it.

    I have never posted a single twitter message. Not one.

    I never look at my twitter feed, even though I am ‘following’ someone.

    I occasionally look at twitter posts other people link to via some other forum.

    I just don’t see the point of Twitter.

  6. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater May 11, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

    CRJ: 2% are Fake, 19% inactive, 79% Good ! That probably is the best Twitter Report for any Presidential Candidate.
    https://twitter.com/CodyRobertJudy/status/730420380926656512

    I would but your coward self blocked me when i pointed out your poor photoshopping skills

  7. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) May 12, 2016 at 6:00 am #

    Twitter is, for many people, a supplement for (or replacement of) a news feed.
    I wouldn’t consider someone a fake, or even “inactive” just because he doesn’t tweet (much).
    I occasionally enjoy some back and forth with RWNJ’s, but I could just as well not bother and simply read the accounts that interest me.
    Now if there’s an account that has no interaction at all (no fav’s, no hits on the site), that would be different.
    But I wouldn’t be surprised if there are many lurkers (as they used to be called in forum times).

  8. avatar
    RanTalbott May 13, 2016 at 7:57 am #

    Keith: I just don’t see the point of Twitter.

    My theory is that, like Facebook, it’s a commie plot to sap our productivity. 😉

    Which doesn’t seem as funny a joke since I heard the other day that the average American spends about an hour per day on Facebook.

    I see The Magic M’s point about it being used as a replacement/supplementary newsfeed, but every time I see a story about the Twittersphere, it seems like it’s just a compressed version of Usenet, with bad/cryptic spelling and worse flamewars.

  9. avatar
    CRJ May 16, 2016 at 3:18 am #

    Daniel: 1. You’re not a Presidential candidate, in any real sense of the word. The reality is you’re no more a Presidential Candidate than I am, or anyone else here is, or my dog is.

    What your saying is you give a dog more respect than yourself. That’s a pit-a-bull I’m mean pitiful. 😉🙈

    Respect4Record FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION has waned especially #Democrats via public funded Primaries #StopBullying https://t.co/WcYbnf8OTP

    https://twitter.com/CodyRobertJudy/status/732102445321490432

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1186807224687392&id=510896692278452

    While it’s true I haven’t appeared on ballots due entirely to the high cost associated with each State run caucus but more especially Primaries, it was not the intent of any Free Election System to secure the wealthy for Election.

    While most States use public funds for Primaries how is it a credit to equality that these Primaries do not reflect even the Record of the Federal Election Commission – FEC?

    The State Tax Funds should be used fairly to distribute the opportunity for Voters to choose as equally as the opportunity to Vote is shared.

    The cost for Candidates seen to get on Primary Ballots is a pay-for-votes scam that is crooked after the Tax Payer has already been billed. Its just another way The People are prohibited a simple Choice that could simply be loaded digitally now days for next to nothing.

    The process has exploited itself. I bear no shame as a Registered Candidate.

  10. avatar
    Northland10 May 16, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    Sitting at home and posting online is not running for office. It takes time, effort, support and money, especially for a national campaign. It also requires a thick skin.

    FEC registration includes those who not only are running but forming committees to explore rinning.

    You are not running for office. You are not a candidate.

  11. avatar
    Lupin May 16, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    CRJ: While it’s true I haven’t appeared on ballots due entirely to the high cost associated with each State run caucus but more especially Primaries, it was not the intent of any Free Election System to secure the wealthy for Election.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYMla7qlBsg

  12. avatar
    bob May 16, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Northland10:
    Sitting at home and posting online is not running for office. It takes time, effort, support and money, especially for a national campaign.It also requires a thick skin.

    Keith Judd, another convicted felon birther, will appear on seven ballots this primary “season” and has received over 8000 votes so far. And Judd is by no means wealthy.

    But it suits Judy’s needs better to throw himself a pity party than to, you know, do the actual work necessary to get on a ballot.

  13. avatar
    Rickey May 18, 2016 at 2:43 am #

    Northland10:
    Sitting at home and posting online is not running for office. It takes time, effort, support and money, especially for a national campaign.It also requires a thick skin.

    FEC registration includes those who not only are running but forming committees to explore rinning.

    You are not running for office.You are not a candidate.

    CRJ doesn’t want to do anything which costs him money. He wants the government to pay for his frivolous lawsuits and appeals, and he wants the government to pay for his ballot access.

    The truth is that the stringent requirements to get names on ballots are in part there to keep fake candidates like Judy from cluttering them up.