More than half of Donald Trump’s Twitter followers are fake: analyses

By @chelean on
U.S. President Donald Trump winces while delivering remarks on the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, from his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S. August 12, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump winces while delivering remarks on the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, from his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S. August 12, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Donald Trump’s 41.3 million Twitter followers are mostly fake accounts, according to new findings. The US president’s social media following isn’t as big as it appears to be.

The Daily Dot reports that Trump’s Twitter account is filled with fake followers, including bots, or accounts that are specifically created to increase one’s follower count. Trump, who often brags about the number of his social media followers, may only have fewer than 24 million

The publication based the findings on two analyses. A data provided by SocialRank to the Daily Dot shows that 25.5 percent (10.2 million) of his following have never tweeted before (as of early October), while 46 percent (18.9 million) have not shared content within a year. More than 300,000 accounts only follow @realDonaldTrump and no one else.

The data also shows that 56.7 percent of the followers, as of Oct. 9, created their accounts after the US leader announced he was running for president, while 37.7 percent of the followers created their accounts after his win in November 2016. Nearly half of his following has been largely inactive on social media, only having tweeted less than five times. Thirteen million of his followers are “egg accounts,” or accounts that have yet to set a profile photo and rarely tweet. This is an indication of a “bot” or fake followers. Trump has approximately 33 percent of his followers “bot.”

If the egg accounts are not counted, Trump only has around 27.5 million followers. And factoring in the number of accounts that have not tweeted in the past year (18.9 million) and those that have not shared on Twitter within 90 days (27.1 million), Trump’s active and engaged followers are drastically fewer.

Whenever Trump said or did something that had the public reeling, his following went up. It rose from 35.3 million on Aug. 8 to 36.2 million on Aug.18 a few days after his much-criticised response to the Charlottesville rally in August.

The data was backed by the information gathered by Michael Cook of Trump or False. Cook used algorithm that pulls information about Trump’s followers.

As the Daily Dot notes, although it is not uncommon for high-profile people on Twitter to have inactive followers, Trump’s count is significantly higher than others. Out of rival Hillary Clinton’s 19.2 million followers, only 6.7 percent of them are inactive. 

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