A substantial portion of Twitter followers for members of Congress represent fake and inactive accounts, according to a study from Advocacy Media, a digital marketing firm.
On average, 38 percent of accounts following House members on Twitter are either phony or inactive, and 42 percent of accounts following senators. The numbers are similar for each party, The Hill
The study was conducted by Advocacy Media last weekend, monitoring every congressman who uses StatusPeople, a tool that catches fake Twitter followers.
Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., topped the list with 82 percent frauds. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., were at 73 percent. For both Pelosi and McCain, 24 percent of followers are fake and 49 percent inactive.
The report puts a damper on the bragging by politicians like President Barack Obama about their millions of Twitter followers.
Twitter’s significance shouldn’t be measured by the gross number of followers, says Jon Tilton, general manager of Advocacy Media. “The value of a platform like Twitter is not so much the reach as it is engagement,” he told The Hill. “At the end of a day you want to earn a follower. . . . These legislators don’t know who these people are.”
Obama has more fake followers than his GOP opponent Mitt Romney, according to StatusPeople. Romney’s campaign denied allegations that it bought fake followers last month, when his follower total jumped during a weekend.
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