-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Newt Gingrich has what appears to be an insurmountable lead over his Republican rivals in the number of followers on Twitter. Gingrich has an amazing 1,325,903 followers whereas Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann haven’t even cracked 100,000. Gingrich complained that the elite media are ignoring his Twitter army.
There’s just one problem, most of his prodigious following is fake.
A former staffer ratted out Gingrich by revealing that his campaign hired a firm to boost his follower numbers:
About 80 percent of those accounts are inactive or are dummy accounts created by various “follow agencies,” another 10 percent are real people who are part of a network of folks who follow others back and are paying for followers themselves (Newt’s profile just happens to be a part of these networks because he uses them, although he doesn’t follow back), and the remaining 10 percent may, in fact, be real, sentient people who happen to like Newt Gingrich.
POLITICO even ran a puff-piece on Gingrich’s massive Twitter following. Emily Schultheis, the author of the piece, will be spending a lot of time getting the egg off her face. POLITICO fancies itself a top-tier news organization.
If Gingrich did juice his numbers it would be easily confirmed. Take a statistical sample of his followers and check for odd names, no posts, no followers, no personal information, and a small follow list. It certainly explains why Gingrich has twice the number of followers as Sarah Palin.
Interestingly, there are firms that actually make money getting Twitter followers for the pathetic.