Nearly half of the 22.3 million followers on President Joe Biden’s Twitter account are not real people, Newsweek reported on Tuesday, citing an analysis provided by a small software company. The same measure was used by Elon Musk to stop the acquisition of the social media giant.
SparkToro, which operates a tool for speaking “Fake” From authentic Twitter accounts, the official @POTUS account looked at 49.3% of them unverified. The screening process takes a variety of factors, from activity data to profile pictures, to determine if there is a real person behind each account. The number of bots following Biden is higher than most, the company said.
Last week, billionaire Elon Musk halted a $ 44-billion acquisition of his platform, claiming the company was wrong when it said it had less than 5% of its Twitter account. “Spam / fake”. He claimed the actual percentage was close to 20 and said that the purchase price he offered to shareholders was based on the company’s estimates, so an adjustment was made.
He and Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal exchanged multiple tweets about the issue, citing Twitter’s effectiveness in removing unverified accounts from the platform. Twitter suspends 500,000 fake accounts every day “Usually before any of you see them.” And locks millions of people every week on suspicion of sending spam, he said.
We suspend more than half a million spam accounts every day, usually before any of you see them on Twitter. We also lock millions of accounts each week that we suspect may be spam – if they fail to pass the human verification challenges (captcha, phone verification, etc.).
– Pollen Agarwal (8 Parga) May 18, 2022
The analyst firm says that Musk seems to be correct in its assessment, based on what it found in a sample of about 44,000 active public Twitter accounts. They have classified about one-fifth of them as counterfeit.
Metrics can vary significantly depending on whether latent users are excluded from the sample. SparkToro also pays attention to Musk’s followers and concludes that 23.42% of active accounts and 70.23% of its posts are subscribed accounts. Newsweek did not say whether samples of Biden’s followers analyzed by the firm were filtered for activity.
Friday, @ Elnmask His contract to acquire Twitter was blocked for analyzing “spam / fake” accounts. We have now completed the analysis of 44,058 public Twitter accounts who have tweeted in the last 90 days. 19.42% probably spam or fake. Details: https://t.co/5CfKab0FAY
– Randfishkin (Randfish) May 15, 2022
In 2018, the firm conducted a study similar to the personal account of then-President Donald Trump, @realDonaldTrump. At the time, 61% of his 54 million followers were fake, Sparktoro wrote. Trump has since de-platformed via Twitter.
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