President Trump loves to whine about “fake news.” How does he feel about fake social media followers, though? On Tuesday morning, author and screenwriter John Niven noticed an increase in the president’s Twitter followers, so he took a closer look at his account. Niven then tweeted a screenshot showing some of Trump’s followers and pointing out the fact that several of them appeared to be fake accounts.
‘Trump’s Twitter acc has suddenly gained 3 mil followers and has been blocking lots of people. New followers look like this…’
When you click on many of the followers listed on Trump’s account, you’ll find two huge red flags: a number of his 31 million followers have never posted any tweets of their own, and many just joined Twitter in May 2017.
An “audit” of Trump’s Twitter profile further proves that almost 50 percent of his followers are fake.
Fake Twitter followers are not at all uncommon. However, the amount of artificial accounts Trump currently has following him is staggering, especially when their dramatic increase in number is factored in.
As Newsweek pointed out in their coverage of the story, in April 2016, when Trump was beginning to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, only 8 percent of his followers were fake. Now, just over a year later, fake accounts make up 49 percent of his following.
Of course, some of this growth can be attributed to the fact that, since taking office, Trump has become even more of a public figure than he was before. However, a 43 percent jump in fake followers seems to be more than just a byproduct of increased public presence. For comparison, Newsweek found that 79 percent of President Obama’s 89.2 million Twitter followers are real.
This increase in fake followers has caused some to speculate whether or not the president is actually paying for fans. He certainly has the money to pay for followers and cares deeply about his public persona, but is Trump really that desperate to seem popular? We’ll probably never know for sure, as he would never admit to paying to create the illusion of being well-liked.
The news about Trump’s fake followers also comes shortly after he went on a massive blocking spree, banning a number of people who had posted messages mocking him and/or criticizing his actions. Maybe he’s adding followers to try and make up for the amount he lost yesterday.
Featured Image via Riccardo De Luca/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images.