May 18, 2022
Nearly half of President Joe Biden’s current 22.2 million Twitter followers are fake accounts, according to an audit tool provided by a software company called SparkToro.
SparkToro found that 49.3-percent of accounts following Biden’s official Twitter account are “fake followers” based on an analysis of a number of factors ranging from location issues, default profile images, and new users, reports Newsweek.
At the time SparkToro’s software analyzed Biden’s Twitter account, he had 22.2 million followers. He now currently has 34.3 million followers.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk—who is currently trying to buy Twitter—expressed concerns about the large number of fake accounts and a potential crackdown that could see users like Biden lose a massive number of followers.
Musk said early Tuesday that his $44 billion deal to purchase Twitter could not go through until issues with fake accounts were resolved. Musk also appeared to criticize Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, according to Newsweek.
Musk claimed that 20-percent of Twitter accounts were probably “fake/spam accounts” and that figure was actually “4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher.”
However, it’s not clear how Musk arrived at that 20-percent fake accounts conclusion.
“My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate,” Musk tweeted. “Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”
“We suspend over half a million spam accounts every day, usually before any of you even see them on Twitter. We also lock millions of accounts each week that we suspect may be spam, if they can’t pass human verification challenges (captchas, phone verification, etc),” Agrawal responded to Musk.
Musk responded to Agrawal’s 13-tweet thread with a poop emoji and later tweeted: “So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter.”
Many are speculating Musk may be using the fake accounts issue to negotiate a better deal for Twitter. Twitter’s stock price is now $37.20 per share, significantly less than the $54.20 per share Musk has offered.
Feature Images via Gage Skidmore & Twitter