Nearly half of President Joe Biden’s 22.3 million Twitter followers are fake accounts, an audit revealed on Wednesday.
Software company SparkToro found that 49.3 percent of accounts following the official @POTUS Twitter account are “fake followers” or inauthentic accounts known as bots, according to a report by Newsweek.
The same analysis reportedly also found that more than 14 million accounts that follow Biden’s personal @JoeBiden Twitter account are either fake or insufficiently active. Therefore, a crackdown on fake Twitter accounts could see users like Biden lose a huge number of followers.
SparkToro reportedly defines fake followers as “accounts that are unreachable and will not see the account’s tweets (either because they’re spam, bots, propaganda, etc. or because they’re no longer active on Twitter).”
The news of Biden’s fake Twitter followers comes after Tesla founder Elon Musk, who is currently trying to buy Twitter, expressed concerns about the number of bots on the social media platform.
Musk has since announced that his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter cannot move forward until the number of bot accounts on the platform is independently confirmed.
The SpaceX CEO tweeted that his offer was based on “Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate,” and he believes bots could account for 20 percent of the platform “or *much* higher.”
20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher.
My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate.
Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%.
This deal cannot move forward until he does.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 17, 2022
While it is not clear how Musk arrived at the 20 percent figure, there is speculation that the Tesla CEO may be using the issue of fake accounts to negotiate a better buyout deal.
Recently, Musk stated that a viable Twitter deal for less money is not “out of the question.”