In the world of social media, it has been stunning to see recent monumental growth in the industry. Twitter and Facebook have evolved into the backbone of our society’s interconnectivity. We’ve seen the meteoric rise of people who gain millions of followers seemingly overnight and become indispensable influencers in modern life.
What you might not know is that millions of followers are completely fake, merely bots created to fuel the cybersphere with content.
Experts are still trying to define what exactly constitutes a fake Twitter follower, as the account may not be an actual person, but it could instead be a bot that serves some purpose, from pushing out content to trolling.
Mind you everyone has fake Twitter followers that just kind of come about with no purchase necessary (I have quite a few of my own). Others, like your favorite politician and your preferred pop star are probably all guilty of purchasing fake followers. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have over a million fake Twitter followers, and Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift have more fake followers than real ones.
TwitterAudit was created by two techies named David Gross and David Caplan, with the mission of exposing Twitter fraud in 2012. Not surprisingly, they are in no way affiliated with Twitter.
TwitterAudit is pretty amazing because you can audit accounts and see how their followers fare during a statistical reality check. If you’re extremely audit happy, you can get an extension on Google Chrome, and the amount of fake Twitter followers can be listed on the actual web page when viewed in your browser.
In the election-obsessed Twittersphere, we took a look at which candidates have the most authentic following. The presidential candidate with the most actual Homo sapiens as a percentage of their followers turned out to be Bernie Sanders. The #FeeltheBern crowd eclipses every other Twitter base when measured for realness.
TwitterAudit claims Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are pretty close on their level of authenticity, where their real followers number about three-quarters of their followers. John Kasich’s following is 88 percent real, while Ted Cruz’s is 83 percent real. Some of the statistics could be changing as their followings grow.
As the 2016 election rolls on, and we watch our beloved news programs become ground-zero for uncivilized shouting matches, remember that your Facebook and Twitter feeds are also political battlegrounds. Don’t always assume what you’re reading found its way into your feed organically.
David is the Editor of Bold. He's especially passionate about millennial economic empowerment. A former local news reporter, David is originally from the Little Havana area in Miami, and later became a pioneer resident of the Disney-inspired town of Celebration, Florida. David holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.