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Are almost half of US President Biden’s Twitter followers fake?

Are almost half of US President Joe Biden’s followers fake? American media outlet Newsweek did an analysis on the official Twitter account used by the elected US president.

The Newsweek reporter used a free analytical tool called Fake Followers by audience research company SparkToro. After the article garnered a lot of attention, many reporters reached out to SparkToro for clarification about the egregious claim.

SparkToro co-founder Rand Fishkin addressed the claims in the form of a Twitter thread. Fishkin stated that Joe Biden did not receive any of Donald Trump’s followers when he was given the Twitter account. Referring to an article by the Washington Post which elaborated that followers of the POTUS (President of the US) account were given a choice to remain followers or to unfollow when Biden became president.

Fishkin specified what the tool includes under the criteria of fake followers; besides bots of spam accounts, Fake Followers also includes inactive accounts; those accounts that have most likely been abandoned by the owner.

Clarifying which account SparkToro did an audit on, Fishkin said that they investigated the president’s personal account and not the official presidential account. They concluded that 43% of Biden’s 34.3 million followers were fake or inactive.

Comparing Biden’s personal account to that of Musk and former US president Donald Trump, it was shown that Musk and Trump had a larger number of fake accounts following them. Fishkin pointed out that larger accounts tend to attract more bots and spam accounts.

In a breakdown shared by Fishkin, the audit found that a shocking 70.23% of Elon Musk’s followers are ‘unlikely to be authentic, active users.’

Responding to Musk’s decision not to join Twitter due to the number of spam accounts that follow him, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal disclosed in a Twitter thread that the popular social media site is very vigilant when it comes to spam accounts.

Agrawal disclosed that ‘over half a million spam accounts’ are suspended daily before users are even aware of them.

 

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