Obama Has 13 Million Fake Twitter Followers [REPORT]

Alex Fitzpatrick
Obama Has 13 Million Fake Twitter Followers [REPORT]

President Obama has nearly 19 million Twitter followers, but 70%, or approximately 13 million of them, are fake, according to a new analysis.

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Mitt Romney's Twitter account, meanwhile, has less than 900,000 followers, but only 15% of them, or about 135,000, are fakes.

The numbers come from Fake Follower Check, a tool from social media firm StatusPeople that analyzes any Twitter account's followers and checks for telltale signs of fake followers.

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"Fake accounts tend to follow a lot of people but have few followers," Rob Waller, founder of StatusPeople, told the New York Times in a story about buying and selling Twitter followers. “We then combine that with a few other metrics to confirm the account is fake."

Analysis of other popular Twitter accounts done using StatusPeople's tools seems to indicate that the more popular a Twitter account is, the more likely it is that the account will have fake followers -- possibly thanks to the work of Internet spammers.

SEE ALSO: Facebook Has 44% Fake Followers; Twitter Has 33%

Fake Twitter followers can be purchased on dozens of websites offering the service for as little as $0.01 per follower. They are sometimes bought by Twitter account managers to give the illusion that a particular brand has more social reach than it actually does.

A sudden spike in Romney's follower count last month caused speculation that someone was buying fake followers for the account. Both the Romney campaign and the Obama campaign have denied buying Twitter followers. Twitter could not be reached for comment on the matter.

Are you surprised that Obama might have so many fake followers?

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, EdStock

This story originally published on Mashable here.