August 19, 2022

*insert joke about stones and glass houses*

Amid his takeover of Twitter, where he seeks to “defeat the spam bots or die trying”, it has been revealed that half of Elon Musk’s followers are fake.

Data from the online auditing tool SparkToro estimates that 53.3 per cent of Musk’s ninety-million followers are fake, meaning they are spam accounts, bots or are no longer active.

Via Getty

“If our Twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying,” Tweeted the 50-year-old last month.

Explaining their method, SparkToro said: “This audit analyses a sample of 2,000 random accounts from the most recent 100,000 accounts that follow elonmusk, then looks at 25+ factors correlated with spam/ bot/ low quality accounts. “

Fears of Musk’s takeover have been prevalent since the announcement was made in April, and data from analytics site Social Blade has shown an increase in followers for right-wing accounts. In contrast, typically left-leaning accounts have seen a decrease in their follower count.

d Marjorie Taylor Greene/Via Getty

For instance, controversial US politician Marjorie Taylor Greene, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Senator Ted Cruz all saw increases in follower count. On the flip side, according to the Guardian, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Jeremy Corbyn, all saw decreases.

Twitter confirmed that the majority of changes were down to “organic deactivations”, which is described as everyday users manually deactivating their accounts.

Actor and activist Jameela Jamil was among the prominent figures to exit the social media platform.

“Ah he got twitter. I would like this to be my what lies here as my last tweet,” she tweeted following the announcement on April 25.  “Just really *any* excuse to show pics of Barold. I fear this free speech bid is going to help this hell platform reach its final form of totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny. Best of luck.”

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