'Something strange' is going on with Trump's Twitter, experts say


Author John Niven pointed out Tuesday morning that Trump's Twitter account saw a weird spike in followers over the weekend - most of which were picture-less accounts that joined the site in May 2017 and have yet to post a single tweet. In order to push back on mainstream media, Trump's war room team may be using the additional bot followers to trick the Twitter algorithm into trending/promoting Trump's messages.

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In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this year, former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Clint Watts described how Russian agents used Twitter bot armies to spread fake news during the election, including using accounts that appeared to belong to Republican voters from the Midwest.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a query about the surge in followers to Trump's Twitter account.

Of the president's 36.9 million Twitter followers, an astonishing 53 per cent - or 19.5 million - are fake accounts, according to a search engine at the Internet research vendor

That's a big dip in the percentage of real people following the president.

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Billboard reported similar results for Lady Gaga. "The simplest way to tell who's winning the Twitter game is by counting followers", he wrote.

Trump's twitter following is now up to 31 million. Maybe you run a business that sells inflated follower counts, so you create a bunch of bots and direct them to follow your paying customers. But it tempered this figure with a listing of other celebrities and their own fake followers. Data generated by TwitterAudit shows as of 1 May 2017, 63 percent of Trump's followers were authentic. That millions of fake accounts would glom onto the most controversial person on the planet, and subsequently on the social network, right now is hardly surprising.

In case you're wondering, 79 percent of Obama's followers are real.

Also, there's no way to know whether Trump has paid for these allegedly fake followers or whether someone else created them and had them follow our Commander in Chief.

I have a feeling that Jacqueline Williams, the NYT's reporter in Sydney, has been trying to get the attention of her editors for a while now.

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