Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr Remix by Andrew Wyrich

More than half of Trump’s 5.5 million new followers are fake or inactive.

President Donald Trump may want to re-think bragging about the size of his online audience: Even more of his Twitter followers have been found to be fake.

The Daily Dot first reported in May that at least 900,000 of the Twitter followers Trump gained during that month were fake or inactive accounts.

Alex Taub, co-founder of SocialRank, said that of Trump’s 31 million followers he had at the time, 9.1 million of them had no profile photos and were considered bots or inactive.

On Tuesday, SocialRank, the social media analytics firm that first discovered Trump’s fake Twitter army, said that it found that 2.4 million of the 5.5 million accounts that have followed Trump since then are fake or inactive, commonly referred to as “egg accounts.”

“The most obvious thing here is that 40 percent of his new followers since the end of May are eggs—which is a significant amount,” Taub told the Daily Dot in an email on Tuesday. “Meaning his follower growth is at least half being supported by inactive/bot accounts. The trend is continuing from last report.”

A causal look at Trump’s current list of followers shows an overwhelming number of “egg accounts” following the president. On Tuesday, only a handful of new followers had pictures and many of the “egg accounts” following him had not yet tweeted.

“Yet again, over half of the Donald’s new following seems to be ultimately inactive,” Kharly Stauber, an account manager at SocialRank wrote in a blog post.

Accounts following @RealDonaldTrump Screengrab via Twitter

While it is not uncommon for high-profile accounts like Trump’s to see a surge in followers (his account is likely on many people’s “who to follow” list), the sheer number of fake accounts following the president was described as “weird” by Taub when SocialRank first noticed the spike in May.

The actual size of Trump’s Twitter following matters. Trump’s administration has repeatedly assailed the media as “fake news” and said Trump could broadcast his own message to his millions of followers instead of interacting with the press.

That argument holds less water when a large percentage of his following is fake or inactive.


Check out the Daily Dot’s politics podcast, We’re All Gonna Die, here. You can also subscribe on iTunes.

 
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