Almost half of President Biden’s Twitter followers are FAKE, audit reveals as Elon Musk puts deal to buy Big Tech giant on hold over bots
Inauthentic Twitter accounts, known colloquially as bots, operate to mimic human interaction on the platform in order to achieve a specific goal.
Some were designed to give people immediate data on things like the stock market and traffic updates, while others were used for more sinister applications such as spreading misinformation online or scamming people out of money.
Roughly 11 million followers of the US president’s official Twitter handle, @POTUS, are either bots or inactive accounts, according to an analysis by Spark Toro.
That’s 49.3 percent of Biden’s total followers on his White House account.
Spark Toro’s metric takes into account ‘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 or because they’re no longer active on Twitter).’
Biden’s old boss, former President Barack Obama, was the first commander-in-chief to use the @POTUS account as a way to connect directly to millions of Americans online.
When he left office, the account was transferred to former President Donald Trump. Obama’s was archived under @POTUS44.
Elon Musk took a shot at President Joe Biden at a conference in Miami on Tuesday, telling the All In podcast hosts that he will be voting for a Republican in 2024
But Biden’s personal Twitter account doesn’t fare much better than the presidential handle.
More than 32 million people follow the president at @JoeBiden, 43 percent of which are reportedly fake.
It’s more fake followers than those linked to the @POTUS account – approximately 14.6 million.
Twitter has about 229 million daily users, according to the company’s own data. The platform has long held that no more than five percent of its accounts are bots or spam.
Musk challenged that assertion on Tuesday, claiming as many as 20 percent of Twitter accounts are inauthentic and accusing CEO Parag Agrawal of refusing to show proof of the company’s five percent claim.
‘My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate. Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%,’ Musk wrote on Twitter.
He threatened: ‘This deal cannot move forward until he does.’
An analysis found that more than 11 million followers of Biden’s official @POTUS Twitter handle are either fake or inactive
Late last month Twitter announced its board had reached a deal with the billionaire engineer for him to take the site private.
He had bought the entire platform for $54.20 per share, totaling roughly $44 billion.
But Musk reasserted his concerns about Twitter’s bot activity at Miami’s All In Summit later on Tuesday, claiming it ‘seems beyond unreasonable’ that at least 95 percent of accounts are authentic.
He also took aim at assertions that he was mounting a ‘right-wing takeover’ of Twitter, blasting the site as having a ‘very far left bias.’
Musk also saved a jab for Biden himself – suggesting the Democrat will not have Musk’s support in 2024.
‘I have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats historically. I might never have voted for a Republican, just to be clear,’ he said. ‘Now this election, I will.’
Twitter share prices fell by 8.2 percent after Musk’s comments.