That means that as of two years ago just more than 40,000 of claimed followers on @jimwatsonottawa are what are called egg-bots that are most likely Twitter bots. In other words, their are no people behind the questionable followers.
In contrast, only three per cent of @KenGray were fakes. On other councillor Twitter sites the total of fakes tested by The Bulldog were:
@dianedeans, four per cent;
@rickchiarelli, four per cent;
@mathieufleury, 11 per cent;
@jodymitic, two per cent;
@cmckenney, two per cent;
@bobmonette1, three per cent;
@barrhavenjan, 14 per cent;
@marianne4kanata, four per cent;
@eli_elchantiry, four per cent;
@ShadQadri, five per cent;
@go_taylor, eight per cent;
@keithegli, three per cent;
@timtierney, three per cent;
@tobi_nussbaum, three per cent;
@jleiper, eight per cent;
@riverwardriley, six per cent;
@chernushenko, three per cent;
@jeancloutierott, three per cent;
@stephenblais, 12 per cent;
@GeorgeDarouze, five per cent;
@scottmoffatt21, 13 per cent;
@allanhubley_23, three per cent;
Reached last night in Watson’s office, the mayor’s spokesperson Livia Belcea said the people following the mayor “are not vetted individually. Our engagement is exceptional.”
Photo above: @jimwatsonottawa’s TwitterAudit results.
TwitterAudit does not assign blame for how the ‘fake’ followers got there. Instead it says on its website:
“Each audit takes a random sample of 5,000 Twitter followers for a user and calculates a score for each follower. This score is based on number of tweets, date of the last tweet, and ratio of followers to friends. We use these scores to determine whether any given user is real or fake. Of course, this 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.”
TwitterAudit is unable to show how the ‘fake’ followers came to be.
The respected Internet website CNET says that TwitterAudit is the most accurate auditing site it has found for this type of analyzing. It says:
TwitterAudit does take into account that most Twitter accounts have some fake followers, so any score above 60 per cent is classified as “real,” while scores between 40 and 60 percent are classified as “not sure.”
Watson’s account falls into the “not sure” category.
Another analytic tool, Fake Follower Check, is not as accurate as TwitterAudit, CNET says, but it shows that only 25 per cent of @jimwatsonottawa’s followers are “good”. Sixty per cent are “inactive” and 15 per cent are “fake.”
Many major personalities are believed to buy followers to boost their prestige. The stars themselves might not purchase followers but their management team may.
Buying fake followers is not uncommon in politics. CNET reported that a study by Baracuda Labs showed that about 15 per cent of presidential candidate Mitt Romney followers may have come from fake accounts created by pay-for-followers services. In one instance, Romney gained 116,000 followers in a day.
There are also cases where people not associated with an account added fake followers to an account to make them look as though the account-holder had purchased them. A Twitter user Ryan Tracey reported to the iag site that 24,000 fake websites were improperly assigned to his account.
TwitterAudit does not show how the fake followers appeared in @jimwatsonottawa. There is no evidence the fake accounts were purchased by Watson or any of his team.
However at just short of 100,000 followers, @jimwatsonottawa numbers far exceed those of any other municipal politician in a city of 900,000 men, women and children. Most councillors’ Twitter followers average around 4,000 to 5,000.
On the website Sozialy, 10,000 Twitter followers can be purchased for $39.89. Retweets and favourites can also be purchased.
@jimwatsonottawa’s Fake Follower Check results.
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