GOP Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich likes to boast that he has more than 1.3 million followers on his Twitter account – but now it turns out some 90 percent of those may be fake.
A former staffer from Gingrich’s troubled campaign has told the website Gawker t
hat the candidate hires companies which “procure Twitter followers for people who are shallow/insecure/unpopular enough to pay for them.”
The ex-staffer added, “About 80 percent of those accounts are inactive or are dummy accounts created by various ‘follow agencies.’ Another 10 percent are real people who are part of a network of folks who follow others back and are paying for followers themselves.
“The remaining 10 percent may, in fact, be real, sentient people who happen to like Newt Gingrich.”
Gingrich’s campaign made much of the fact that he has twice as many followers as Sarah Palin and 20 times more than rivals Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul. A recent story on Politico put the numbers down to “his personal touch,” adding, “He tweets and manages his Twitter feed himself. All told he has tweeted 2,611 times in the 29 months since he joined the site.”
The former House Speaker even mentioned the size of his following during a meeting with the editorial board of the Marietta Daily Journal in his home state of Georgia on Sunday while complaining about media coverage of his campaign.
“I have six times as many Twitter followers as all the other candidates combined, but it didn't count because if it counted I'd still be a candidate; since I can't be a candidate that can't count,” he said.
But Gingrich’s one-time ally said it is clear just by looking at the list of followers that many are fake as the “have odd usernames and no profile photos, which has to do with the fact that they were mass generated.”
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