Gingrich's million Twitter followers: "80% dummy accounts, 10% paid followers"

Newt Gingrich is making a lot of hay about his one million Twitter followers, casting himself as a well-loved man of the people against whom the mainstream press conspires. However, an unsourced "former staffer" quote in Gawker claims that Gingrich's Twitter followers came from sleazy tricks like creating fake identities:
Newt employs a variety of agencies whose sole purpose is to procure Twitter followers for people who are shallow/insecure/unpopular enough to pay for them. As you might guess, Newt is most decidedly one of the people to which these agencies cater.

About 80 percent of those accounts are inactive or are dummy accounts created by various "follow agencies," another 10 percent are real people who are part of a network of folks who follow others back and are paying for followers themselves (Newt's profile just happens to be a part of these networks because he uses them, although he doesn't follow back), and the remaining 10 percent may, in fact, be real, sentient people who happen to like Newt Gingrich. If you simply scroll through his list of followers you'll see that most of them have odd usernames and no profile photos, which has to do with the fact that they were mass generated. Pathetic, isn't it?

Most of Newt Gingrich’s Twitter Followers Are Fake


    1. And that pretty much exhaustively covers this topic.  Recommend keeping further feedback to [Like]…

    2. Some of them are sentient people, some less so.  Some of them want to watch Newt to find out what he’s up to now.   And remember, he’s now in the _moderate_ wing of the Republican Party.

    1. For context, Lady Gaga has 12,180,661 followers,
      Shaquille O’Neal has 4,098,037, and MC Hammer has 2,139,292.

  1. This is probably a false story by disgruntled employees: (thanks to the great Joshua Holland (@joshuahol) who pointed this out to me)

    That’s the real surprise here; it not being true.

  2. Sir Bedevere: What makes you think she’s a witch? 
    Peasant 3: Well, she turned me into a newt! 
    Sir Bedevere: A newt? 
    Peasant 3: [meekly after a long pause] … I got better. 

  3. Just because an account is inactive is no indication it’s a dummy account.  I have a twitter account that I used to follow several people.  I never really posted anything and it has been sitting there abandoned for 2 years now.  I would imagine Gingrich attracted a lot of people who never had any real interest in using the service.

    1. That is a fair point, but if 800,000 of his 1,000,000 followers are such accounts . . . that seems . . . unlikely? High? Craptacular?

    2. Please read the follow up article. That explains more about how the research firm separates out simply inactive accounts and dummy accounts. There are people who sit around and create thousands of fake accounts and then sell them to people. You can buy them on ebay and from firms that specialize in social media.
      During the early days of blogs they were called flogs, fake blogs. The need to manufacture, buzz, is something that will continue to happen as the technology moves on.

  4. Yes but so, this list of fake followers is great source for unlikely names for characters in the novel you  have been working on (yes, you there, mister writer).

    I call dibs on Eel Irab, though. I plan to put him through hell.

    Sexy hell.

  5. To be more exact, how many are dummy accounts, stupid accounts, misinformed accounts, or just plain ignorant accounts?

  6. The article says: “Pathetic, isn’t it?” I say “No, encouraging!” Now I know that there are not a million people who want to hear from this buffoon. And we knew Gingrich was pathetic.

  7. My guess is that most celebs and public figures with astoundingly high numbers of followers have mostly fake followers. 

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