The New York Times reports on the phenomenon of fake Twitter accounts. As it turns out, a large majority of accounts following some of the world’s biggest celebrities, such as Lady Gaga and President Obama, are fake.
The practice has become so widespread that StatusPeople, a social media management company in London, released a Web tool last month called the Fake Follower Check that it says can ascertain how many fake followers you and your friends have.
The tool examines Twitter relationships, said Rob Waller, a founder of StatusPeople. "Fake accounts tend to follow a lot of people but have few followers," he said. "We then combine that with a few other metrics to confirm the account is fake."
If accurate, the number of fake followers out there is surprising. According to the StatusPeople tool, 71 percent of Lady Gaga’s nearly 29 million followers are "fake" or "inactive." So are 70 percent of President Obama’s nearly 19 million followers.
In addition to being hugely popular among the fake and/or virtual, the president enjoys significant support from unlikely and/or unregistered voters.