Are Half of Trump's Twitter Followers Fake? It's Complicated


We took a look at Trump's recent uptick in followers with Social Rank and Socialbakers, both social analytics tools, as well as Twitter Audit, a programme which combs through Twitter to sort real followers from fake ones. Snapshots from show that Trump's followers only went up from 30.7 million to 31 million. Trump has gained more than 13 million followers since his inauguration in January.

Taylor Swift, who has a total of over 84 million followers and the fourth-most followed Twitter account, has the highest number of real followers, according to Twitter Audit. 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.

Trump also has an official Twitter account, @POTUS, which stands for president of the United States. The comedian Joe Mande now has a healthy 1.01 million followers, but his bio contains a caveat: "twitter is trash, facebook's the devil, i bought a million followers for like $400 none of this shit matters antarctica is melting".

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A large number of Katy Perry's followers on Twitter may be fake accounts.

Settler down everyone. While this phenomenon isn't at all unusual - especially for public figures - Barack Obama's fake numbers were even more dismal during his presidency. Having bots follow these accounts allows them to appear, to the untrained eye, just like new users who maybe haven't gotten around to uploading a profile picture.

The website, which says it has been "exposing Twitter fraud since 2012", explains its methodology, which it admits is not an exact science. This score is based on the number of tweets, date of the last tweet and ratio of followers to friends. "Of course, this scoring method is not ideal but it is a good way to tell if someone with lots of followers is likely to have increased their follower count by inorganic, fraudulent, or dishonest means". He has forged a career out of social media and the internet and said he recognizes follower buying as common practice.