Twiplomacy, a platform helping agencies with their digital strategy, has revealed alarming facts: of the 40.9mn Twitter followers of Indian PM Narendra Modi, nearly 24.7mn (60%) are “fake.”
His audit score on TwitterAudit is a lowly 39%.
In contrast, of US President Donald Trump’s 47.9mn followers, 12.5mn (37%) are “fake.” His audit score is 74%.
Data has been revealed about other Indian leaders too.
Among top Indian politicians, Congress President Rahul Gandhi leads with 69% fake followers.
BJP Chief Amit Shah follows closely at 67%.
AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal does somewhat better, with 51% fake followers.
One of the lowest-scoring persons is Rajinikanth, with only 26% of his 4.1mn followers fake.
So in comparison, Modi has 16.1mn “real” followers, Kejriwal has 6.3mn, while Gandhi has just 1.7mn.
On the international platform, a whopping 59% of Pope Francis’ 16.7mn followers are fake.
While Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has 47% fake followers out of 7.08mn, only 8% of the 6.78mn followers of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman are fake.
Twiplomacy posted stats of celeb Taylor Swift, who has only 19% fake followers out of 85.6mn.
For Kim Kardashian, it is 44% of 58.8mn.
Sites like TwitterAudit can examine Twitter accounts for “fake” followers. This it does by analyzing the followers’ accounts based on their own tweeting activity and followers.
“Fake” profiles mostly include internet bots – automated applications that imitate actual accounts, mostly made for the specific purpose of promoting a person’s account.
However, TwitterAudit can’t tell if some follower is real but just dormant.
SignificanceBut does it matter?
Modi surged to victory in 2014 amid a strong and influential social media wave. His popularity ratings have remained high since.
Even the conspiracy theories doing the rounds after the recent Florida massacrewere traced to deep corners of the virtual world.
These incidents show how social media is forming, shaping and deciding the course of public opinion, which makes such trends extremely alarming.