Prime minister Narendra Modi is known for his effective use of social media, especially Twitter, for matters relating to administration as well as politics. However, a recent study reveals that more than half of his followers on Twitter are fake.
A statistic put out by Twiplomacy, a digital platform which helps governments and international organisations improve their digital strategy, says that Modi has more fake followers than US president Donald Trump. Twiplomacy, which used TwitterAudit to determine the information, has listed five world leaders and represented their account audit with a tweet saying, "Some of the most followed world leaders and their share of bot followers"
Trump, who has 47.9 million followers, has 37 per cent "fake" followers while PM Modi who boasts of 40.3 million followers has almost double the number of fake followers – 60 per cent. According to the data, while 16,191,426 out of Modi's 40,993,053 followers are authentic, 24,799,527 are shown to be fake.
For Trump, while 35,980,870 out of his 48,939,948 followers are real, 12,445,604 are fake.
When it comes to Congress president Rahul Gandhi's official twitter handle, @OfficeofRG, there are 3,696,460 fake accounts and just 1,715,634 real accounts.
The official Twitter account of Pope Francis also has 59 per cent fake followers. For comparison, Twiplomacy has also provided the TwitterAudits of pop star Taylor Swift and celebrity Kim Kardashian. @taylorswift13 has just 19 per cent fake followers and @kimkardashian has 44 per cent fake followers.
'Twitter Audit an external tool'
However, micro-blogging site Twitter later released a statement, saying the 'Twitter Audit' fake follower measurement tool was not the company's product.
"The methodology used by 'Twitter Audit' is deeply flawed and their incorrect information should not be taken seriously," a Twitter spokesperson told IANS.
Twitter Audit is an external tool not affiliated to the micro-blogging website.
It takes a sample of 5,000 Twitter followers and assesses them on the number of tweets, followers, mutual followers and other parameters.
According to its website, "the scoring method is not perfect but it is a good way to tell if someone with lots of followers is likely to have increased their follower count by inorganic, fraudulent, or dishonest means".