'Something fishy' may be going on with Trump's Twitter account, researchers say

Jun 01, 2017, 00:42

According to Twitter Audit Report, an analysis tool which will tell you how many of an account's followers are real people, around 15 million of his 31 million followers are fake.

But is Trump unique among personalities with massive Twitter followings to have so many fake accounts following him?

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It is unusual or at least unprecedented in Twitter's admittedly short history for the sitting president of the United States to buy followers while in office. A relatively very high 88 percent of her followers are real, amounting to over 74 million people and putting her comfortably on top, considering the fifth-most followed celebrity on Twitter, Rihanna, has a total of 73.3 million followers. Obama's @barackobama account has 89.2 million followers.

Billboard reported similar results for Lady Gaga.

It is something of a commentary on the nature of social media and its users that Obama is the only person or company who is not related to entertainment who finds himself in the top 10 of the list of most followed Twitter accounts.

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Except, well, his 31 million followers aren't quite what they seem. But in 2012 I learned that only a portion of those are real humans; some are 'bots, ' artificially created to boost an account's popularity. And numerous followers aren't following anybody except Trump. But what's more interesting is the fact that the vast majority of these new followers are bots - fake computerized followers. Data generated by TwitterAudit shows as of 1 May 2017, 63 percent of Trump's followers were authentic. A few hundred dollars can net you hundreds to thousands of new adherents to your live-tweeting philosophy, though they're generally just fake accounts that will never really love you or your hilarious interactions with brands. Meanwhile, Amie Tsang, the paper's London business reporter, also wrote about the bids for Fairfax, including it in her Morning Agenda feature.

"They've formed an investment thesis that real estate's just got a lot of value in it", Damien Tampling, a partner in Deloitte Australia's technology and media practice, said of the bidders for Fairfax.

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