Prime Minister Narendra Modi has many credentials to his name. One being the most followed Indian leader and third in the world with 41 million Twitter followers. The number however should be underplayed given that more than 60% of his followers are fake.
Earlier today, a February 21 infographic prepared by Alex Kliment, director of Eurasia Group, starting doing the rounds on Twitter. The infographic, as determined by TwitterAudit, reveals that numbers of followers related to the accounts of some of the worlds’ top leaders are fake.
The Pope and US President Trump comfortably outnumber PM Modi in number of Twitter followers. But they are no match for Modi when it comes to having fake followers.
A 2017 blog on twiplomacy.com had rated Narendra Modi as the third-most followed global leader on Twitter with 30,058, 659 followers. This infographic reveals that Modi has the highest number of fake followers. In order to build digital diplomacy, of the users following @narendramodi, 60 per cent are fake.
Fake followers include internet bots—an automated application used to imitate workings of accounts of actual humans, thereby imitating them—and inactive followers. Curiously, the revelation of these numbers only caught the attention of social media users now — three weeks after. With that, users including journalists, members of Congress party as well as the official handle of Congress’ Tamil Nadu chapter took on the prime minister.
Not Just Modi
There are sites like Twitter Audit that can parse celebrity numbers for fakes. All one has to do is paste a Twitter handle one wants to ‘audit’ and the site will analyse 5,000 followers to yield the percentage of ‘fakes’. It reads a fake account by the number and frequency of tweets and its own followers—though it can’t tell how many real followers may have signed up but lie dormant.
In a Twitter audit done by Outlook for Modi’s twitter competitors- Arvind Kejriwal, second most followed Indian leader, and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
The results were far from reassuring. 51 per cent of Kejriwal’s twitter followers are fake, while Rahul Gandhi emerges as the winner here with 69 per cent fake followers.