I feel a bit responsible for this crazed obsession with fake followers permeating the press. It all began with a strange follower spike Mitt Romney experienced last month. Now it has come to a head with a new app by StatusPeople.
How does it work?
We take a sample of your follower data. Up to 1,000 records depending on how ‘popular’ you are and assess them against a number of simple spam criteria.
That’s 0.0053% of Obama’s followers. Not exactly statistically significant. Moreover, Obama gets around 35,000 new followers each day. You can get different results 35 times a day depending when you look, hence the variation in news coverage.
How many fake followers does Obama have? Nobody knows. As StatusPeople’s Rob Waller told Mashable: “It would be impossible to crunch all the follower data that Obama has in a reasonable manner via the Twitter API.”
Fake Followers is a great headline, but it isn’t backed up by any real data. StatusPeople may work for your account, but it just can’t analyze the third largest account on Twitter accurately.
As a fun side-note, 87% of @StatusPeople’s followers are fake according to their own app. Hmmm…