Fake followers – backstory

A member of Team Las Olas was talking to someone the other day about an article I wrote on this site about fake followers on Twitter and Facebook.  That conversation has prompted this rant. You may recall that I was reassuring members of Team Las Olas who read the news (that the average Twitter account has 33% fake or inactive followers) that our own Twitter accounts were sending out members’ messages to genuine people – I think we have a 95% rating – as shown by an independent evaluation service.

Most people will remember the story from August which explains exactly why fake followers are a big deal. But it seems that some people missed the news – which isn’t exactly trivial as it concerns the president of the United States and the forthcoming election. Yep, just a small matter of what some people see as ‘the most powerful man in the world. Now I don’t know about you but I believe that stories about the people who are leading entire countries are pretty important.

There are still some who regard social media as somehow lightweight and unimportant but presidents (and presidential candidates) don’t. Here’s what was reported in August:

In playing catch up with President Obama’s social media savvy, Republican nominee Mitt Romney might have cut some corners. A new report shows that more than 15 percent of Romney’s Twitter followers may have come from bogus accounts generated by pay-for-followers services. “We believe most of these recent followers of Romney are not from a general Twitter population but most likely from a paid Twitter follower service,” research scientist Jason Ding wrote in the report.

Doesn’t this show that social media and the problem of fake followers is a serious issue? Suddenly, even people who knew nothing about social media were concerned about fake followers – especially those who are paying for a social media service such as Team Las Olas. There are hundreds of online tools which allow anyone to evaluate various aspects of social media accounts, including several which weed out fake followers. The service we use shows that there are many Twitter accounts that have followers which are all fake or inactive. (See the screenshot below).

Here is a list of ‘celebrity’ accounts and their results, according to Fast Company.

  • Lady Gaga (28,355,129 followers): 43% fake, 34% inactive
  • Justin Bieber (26,582,874 followers): 31% fake, 33% inactive
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (12,367,632 followers): 52% fake, 32% inactive
  • Kanye West (8,293,114 followers): 36% fake, 34% inactive
  • Snooki (5,424,072 followers): 17% fake, 40% inactive
  • Perez Hilton (5,401,665 followers): 17% fake, 50% inactive
  • Jack Dorsey (2,086,805 followers): 15% fake, 40% inactive

Disclaimer: I am a legal resident in the USA. However, I am British-born and not eligible to vote. Therefore I avoid discussing politics and I have no political affiliations. My only interest in this story is due to its connection with social media and reputation management.

Posted by Team Las Olas in : Rants,

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