There are fakers among us, at least on Twitter.
And although it’s not new news that some Twitter followers are not real, it’s interesting none the less to take a look at the breakdown every once in a while of notable people who might not be as popular as they seem.
Thanks to the tool “Fakers” by Status People, it’s easy to look up the percentage of faker, inactive and good accounts among the followers of any person’s Twitter base.
You might remember when we reported nearly a year ago that 70 percent of President Barack Obama’s followers at the time were fake. It looks like he’s lowered that number a bit but still more than half are considered fake, according to Status People’s tool.
Before we go any further, we must point out that not all fake followers are acquired willingly. To be sure, buying of Twitter followers is an actual practice, but some fake followers are gained through spam or bots. When a Florida social media agency noticed it had gained 10,000 followers within day, it set out to figure out what great thing it did to merit the attention. It turned out though, a bot most likely targeted the firm.
What’s the harm in having fake followers? It not only promotes a false sense of notoriety and reach, but The Next Web has pointed out some of the dangers too many fakeres can pose to legitimate followers as well:
Fake followers can incur phishing, hacking and even infecting real fans with spammy links. Security solutions company Barracuda Networks performed a study on fake follower accounts in August, and uncovered plenty of dangers hidden within fake followers.
“Hackers spend a lot of time preying on social networks, and they’ll try any method to do it,” explains Paul Judge, chief researcher at Barracuda Labs. “And when we looked at Twitter, we saw that attackers have become very efficient at utilizing the viral features in Twitter to carry own attacks, which are found in those fake follower accounts.”
As the Social People put it, “it’s important for you to be sure when you communicate on Twitter that you are communicating with real and active followers. Because the more active your follower base the more likely they are to share your content.”
Now, here’s a look at various notable figures and how they rate in terms of fake follower percentages (again remember, not all fakers were necessarily purchased).
Let’s target some political figures first (note: hover over the chart to see actual percentages):
How about commentators and media accounts (including our very own Billy Hallowell):
And for reference a couple celebrity targets:
If you end up checking on your own faker status and find you have acquired some, consider going through your list an eliminating profiles you think might be fake. Indicators can be a lack of profile picture and text, few followers and few or no tweets. There also are tools to help you remove them, like FakerBeGone, which can help identify get rid of fake followers in large quantities.
TheBlaze’s Mike Opelka contributed to this report. Featured image via Annette Shaff / Shutterstock.com.