Last month digital strategy firm Twiplomacy claimed that India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress party president Rahul Gandhi have more fake followers on Twitter than real ones, the social network has published a vehement denial, saying that the methodology for the study was “deeply flawed”, and “should not be taken seriously”.
Twitter also said that ‘Twitter Audit’, the tool that Twiplomacy used for its study, is a third-party software that has no association with the the social networking site, and hence, cannot be expected to provide correct data for such a study.
“The methodology used by ‘Twitter Audit’ is deeply flawed and their incorrect information should not be taken seriously”
In case you’re unaware, a recent study dubbed ‘Fakemon’ from Twiplomacy, a company that says it helps governments & multinational companies improve their digital strategy, claimed that more than 60 percent of the followers of Modi and Gandhi on Twitter are fake.
World Leaders and their Fake followers
Some of the most followed world leaders and their share of bot followers as determined by https://t.co/TdNIomSdNt. Graphics prepared by @Saosasha @gzeromedia#DigitalDiplomacy pic.twitter.com/viid9ZTReV
— Twiplomacy 😷 #WearAMask #StaySafe (@Twiplomacy) February 21, 2018
The report also suggested that Pope Francis, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman have a large number of fake followers on the micro-blogging platform.
It’s interesting that Twitter is pushing back at these claims so vehemently after the report was published, given how the company has admitted to having hundreds of thousands of fake accounts that collectively spread propaganda and fake news around the US Presidential elections of 2016.
The company recently admitted to some of the accusations of the US security establishment, and even expunged hundreds of thousands of troll accounts from its platform, even though experts claim much more needs to be done going forward. So it’s not unlikely that a bulk of followers for well-known personalities and world leaders are not real accounts. However, it would be even better if Twitter actually rebutted Twiplomacy’s claims with its own figures which we can use to report the rise of fake accounts.