Almost half of President Joe Biden's over 22.2 million Twitter followers are fake or do not exist, a new audit has revealed. According to an audit tool provided by software company SparkToro, nearly 50 percent of the president's followers are reportedly "fake followers." SparkToro said that the "fake followers" were identified based on a number of things including fake images.
It is not known if Biden and his office know about the authenticity of the huge number of accounts following him on Twitter. This comes as Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, who is attempting to buy Twitter, expressed his concern a few days back over the growing number of phoney accounts on Twitter.
Not Real Followers
The new audit by SharpToro shows that 49.3 percent of Biden's followers on Twitter or those following the official @POTUS Twitter account are either "fake followers" or simply do not exist.
SparkToro has defined "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 or because they're no longer active on Twitter)."
This comes as Elon Musk expressed his concern over the increasing number of fake accounts on Twitter, as he gears up to buy the social media company. Musk, the world's richest billionaire, stated that 20 percent of the Twitter accounts were "fake/spam accounts," claiming that the number was "4 times what Twitter claims, and might be *much* higher."
Twitter, however, has claimed that it suspends fake accounts every day and the numbers of fake accounts being claimed by Musk are inflated.
Too Many Fake Accounts
It is not clear how Musk arrived at the 20 percent figure. Current Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal retorted to Musk, claiming that the social media platform suspends over half a million spam accounts per day.
"We suspend over half a million spam accounts every day, usually before any of you even see them on Twitter. We also lock millions of accounts each week that we suspect may be spam, if they can't pass human verification challenges (captchas, phone verification, etc)," Agrawal wrote.
Last week, Musk announced that his $44 billion Twitter takeover has been temporarily put on hold because of the large number of fake accounts and has vowed to not go through with his purchase of the social media giant until the issue is resolved.
In pre-market trade on Friday, Musk's decision to put the deal on hold slashed Twitter's stock by 15%.
"My offer was based on Twitter's SEC filings being accurate," Musk said.
"Yesterday, Twitter's CEO publicly refused to show proof of forward until he does."
Since 2019, Twitter has reported a 5% estimate, which has been referenced in the company's last 11 quarterly reports.
Interestingly, a similar audit was performed on Musk by SparkToro, and it revealed that roughly 70.2 percent of Musk's 93.3 million Twitter followers were bogus.