A newly released audit of Hillary Clinton’s Twitter account revealed that 41 percent of her followers are not real people.
The recent audit showed that Clinton has a far higher percentage of fake followers compared to all the other presidential candidates. This means that 1,906,500 people out of Clinton’s 4.65 million followers might be fake.
The Tool Behind the Detection
These fake followers were detected using a tool called TwitterAudit, a tool that examines a Twitter account’s Twitter followers activities and searches for any sign of falsehood like a very low number of tweets, a low number of followers, and some other metrics that are combined to come up with an authenticity score. Still, the creators noted that the process is far from being perfect and can significantly have a margin of errors.
Almost every individual who owns social media accounts measures one’s popularity by the number of their followers. S, it is not surprising the famous personalities would go as much as getting fake followers to look more popular than they really are.
TwitterAudit To The Rescue
In addition, TwitterAudit mentioned that they determine fake followers by how often they tweet, the number of tweets on their feed, the date fo their last tweet, as well as the ratio of friends to followers.
But for a very large number of followers, like the ones enjoyed by top political personalities and celebrities, the Twitter auditing tool delivers very interesting results. Observant people will notice that fake Twitter accounts do not have display pictures. Rather, they use the default avatar that Twitter has.
Fake Followers are the New Normal
Faking Twitter followers already seems mainstream these days. Everyone, starting from internet influencers, celebrities, and politicians have a lot of fakes. In fact, just a few clicks on the internet will allow you to find websites where you can buy Twitter likes, shares, and followers. Moreover, the basis of real popularity is when you have approximately 60 percent of authentic followers. This standard is something that Clinton failed to meet. However, even the two personalities with the most real followings, Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Rand Paul, had 10 and 21 percent of fake followers on their Twitter accounts, respectively. Senator Sanders has 821,000 followers on Twitter. And if 10 percent of them are fake, then that means that he has got 82,000 fake followers.
Furthermore, it was found out that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with 36 percent false followers. The U.S. President Donald Trump, as well as Ben Carson, stands right behind Christie with 34 percent fake followers each.
Hillaryious Twitter Followers
Moreover, most of the political candidates have found out to have around 25 percent to 30 percent of fake followers on their Twitter accounts. Some other prominent political personalities and media figures like the MSNBC host Rachel Maddow have seen a significant surge in the number of fake accounts following them. As analyzed by TwitterAudit, Maddow has 4,027,021 fake accounts following her among her total number of followers.
The auditing tool has also seen a dramatic increase in the number of fake followers on the Twitter account of Jon Ossoff, a Georgia Democratic congressional candidate. It was found out that Ossoff’s fake followers increased from 631 to 46,910 during the last couple of months.
A large number of accounts on Twitter have fake followers. However, politicians specifically have a reputation for purchasing followers so that they could appear more popular on social media. Furthermore, it was found out that fake accounts who follow politicians and other popular individuals cannot like and share tweets. These false followers only exist for the sole purpose of a popularity boost.
Where the Fake Followers Come From
There is no way that one could tell where these fake Twitter accounts that follow popular individuals come from. There is also no solid evidence that these accounts were created and paid by either the candidates or their campaign staff to grow their follower count. As mentioned, there are services on the internet that lets people purchase bundles of fake followers. And along with these services are a lot of advice coming from social media analysts to not use such services. However, there is no hassle-free way that a politician can block outside parties from adding false followers to his or her Twitter account.
A lot of politicians already have an impressive and large number of authentic followers on Twitter. So, there is no way that they will buy fake followers just to increase their popularity. And if it will be confirmed that a popular politician did buy a huge number of false followers, the embarrassment would shadow the small amount of prestige and additional popularity that they have gained by boosting their follower count through fake followers.
Still, there is a long-existing suspicion that political campaigns or some of the avid supporters of politicians are the ones who purchase fake followers for them. It was also suspected that some of the fake followers built up as organizations with Twitter followings follow the candidates that they support. Since people are very knowledgeable about how the internet works, it would not be hard for them to use the internet to create an enormous number of false followers to show support for their chosen candidates.
Creating fake followers is only one of the many ways that the internet could be used to make an illusion that could help an individual to get the approval of people. There are other recent controversies where large companies bought and created fake positive reviews to make their target audience believe that a lot of customers are satisfied with their products. In addition, it was proven that a vast array of email campaigns created using the power of bots, a computer-generated tool that poses as a human on social media. If the world is not very obsessed with how social media works, they will not find any way to as to how they could manipulate the public perceptions of fame, thus making such tricks to not work very well.