May 15, 2014

Are Twitter followers of popular Indians fake?

Socialbakers have put an app on their website that allows you to find out show many Twitter followers of an account are genuine. This is in beta stage yet, but the results thrown up by the application tell a story about how an account is being maintained.

We checked accounts of some very popular Twitter account holders of India including leading politicians and political parties, government social media accounts and electronic media houses. We have given the stats for @BarackObama to juxtapose them with Indian politicians' stats.

The graph below shows what percent of followers of an account are 
A- supicious or empty (lowermost, grey bar) e.g. @arendramodi has 64% followers of this category.
According to the website, they take  Twitter accounts as suspicious or fake or empty if these are followed by a very small number of other Twitterati (less than 1 follower for every 50 followed) or use spam phrases or repeat tweets or have majority of their tweets just retweets of others' tweets or have no bio or location on the profile., 
B-  inactive (yellow bar). Socialbakers would call a Twitter account inactive if it does not tweet at all or tweets infrequently, especially if it has not tweeted in the last three months.
C- good (top bar, blue). Twitter accounts that do not fall in the above two categories are supposed to be good accounts.
Followers of some popular Indian Twitter accounts (includes @BarackObama for comparison):
graphic shows % good, inactive and bad followers

We take some of Socialbakers criteria with a pinch  of salt and we have no way to know whether their trackers capture the conduct of Twitter accounts accurately. So, we leave it to the viewers to make their own judgement after seeing the stats or to trash the stats altogether.

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