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.)