Okay, America, just so we know what kind of popularity contest the presidential election really is, in the newly developed world of social media and the followers one has which is used as a bragging point for just how popular any one candidate is, the wholesale purchase of “followers” appears to be running rampant.
According to vocativ.com, a TwitterAudit of all social media savvy presidential candidates for 2016 reveals just how many real, honest to goodness Twitter followers the various presidential hopefuls have:
- Donald Trump (3 million) and Bernie Sanders (68,500) – 90% real humans
- Jeb Bush – 89% out of 207,000
- Carly Fiorina – 87% out of 372,000
- Rick Santorum (233,000) and Rick Perry (294,000 and he’s a dog person) – 86% authentic humans each
- Marco Rubio – 84% out of 748,000
- Rand Paul and Ted Cruz (417,000 on the candidate handle) – 83% real live people, although Rand Paul has at least three Twitter handles, so no telling which one vocativ used
- Ben Carson – 82%, but again which handle? The presidential candidate handle doesn’t even have 3,000 followers (@RealBenCarson has 357,000)
- Mike Huckabee – 81% real out of 369,000
and the presidential candidate with the most fake Twitter followers, the one who is inflating the numbers to look good, just like everything else she does:
Yes, that’s right, out of Hillary’s 3.68 million followers, 35% or 1.29 million of them are not real people. Yeah, no great shock. Donald Trump, attention whore that he might be, is more popular. (At least he’s honest.)
How does this happen, the honest American asks. Well, it seems that fake social media accounts are a big business. Not in the United States, of course, but according to a The Week piece, companies and candidates from all over the world put in orders to businesses in places like the Philippines where young, social media savvy workers sit in front of computer screens and create fake profiles all day long.
Most of the accounts [created] are sold to … digital middlemen — “click farms” as they have come to be known. Just as fast as Silicon Valley conjures something valuable from digital ephemera, click farms seek ways to create counterfeits. Just Google “buy Facebook likes” and you’ll see how easy it is to purchase black-market influence on the internet: 1,000 Facebook likes for $29.99; 1,000 Twitter followers for $12; or any other type of fake social media credential, from YouTube views to Pinterest followers to SoundCloud plays. Social media is now the engine of the internet, and that engine is running on some pretty suspect fuel.
So, how did Hillary Clinton get to be so popular? She bought the popularity, after all, perception is reality in the world of media driven imagery. Over a third of her Twitter followers are fake. It’s all a mirage. How long before the mainstream media and the public catch on? Not only is Hillary’s team fabricating accomplishments out of thin air, but they are bragging about social media support that doesn’t exist.