CGTN / YouTube World leaders laugh at Trump as...
CGTN / YouTube

A new analysis of white supremacist in chief Donald Trump’s Twitter followers reveals that most of the “people” subscribing to him on the popular social media platform are “bots, spam, inactive, or propaganda.” An online marketing company released these findings this week, along with their analysis of other public figures such as President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. All of these figures had large numbers of fake followers, but nobody had the true bloat that our most bloviating president has.

  • Donald Trump (President) – 61.0%
  • Kamala Harris (Senator) – 24.4%
  • Ted Cruz (Senator) – 26.0%
  • Susan Collins (Senator) – 24.6%
  • Mike Pence (Vice President) – 41.5%
  • Al Gore (Former Vice President) – 41.0%
  • Beto O’Rourke (Congressman) – 22.7%
  • Barack Obama (former President) – 40.9%
  • Mitch McConnell (Senator) – 31.3%
  • Jerry Brown (Governor) – 50.0%
  • Lindsey Graham (Senator) – 25.3%
  • Elizabeth Warren (Senator) – 33.7%
  • Hillary Clinton (former Senator) – 43.8%

As you can see, Trump’s propaganda bloat is almost exactly as high as you might imagine a gaslighting, popular vote losing, bully windbag might have. According to the analysis, there were a few accounts with higher propaganda bloat: a Russian journalist with 82 percent fake followers and an Indonesian news source with just over 69 percent. According to the marketing company they used a series of 14 “signals” to peg potentially fraudulent accounts, from long inactivity, to “abnormally large” slews of activity, to “spam-correlated keywords in their profile description.” Any single “signal” was not enough to flag an account as fake. The accounts that checked off at least 7-10 signals were flagged. Trump’s account has some highlights, of course.

  • The spike of extremely low quality followers that fire 10+ spam flags suggests that this account in particular has been the target of a lot of suspicious activity.
  • The ease with which these accounts can be identified suggests Twitter is unwilling (rather than unable) to identify and remove obvious spam/bots/inactive/propaganda accounts.
  • Comparison against other prominent and well-followed American politicians suggests that the issue is unique to, or at least amplified, on @realdonaldtrump vs. others.

It’s something to keep in mind the next time Trump retweets things like this:

And this:

Everything about Donald Trump is a fraud. From his wealth and business acumen, to his actual popularity and personal convictions.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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