Is Mitt Romney Buying Twitter Followers?
Today we learn that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is apparently buying Twitter followers to inflate his popularity in social media. The graph from 140Elect.com looks like a hockey stick:
For comparison, a graph of Barack Obama’s new followers in the same time period (via Twitter Counter) shows steady growth with no spikes:
Here’s Romney’s profile page: Mitt Romney (MittRomney) on Twitter.
Check the number of followers, then watch as it increases by a hundred or so every time you reload the page. If you look at all these followers, they seem to have major trouble with spelling simple English words, have names that sometimes seem to be random assortments of syllables, and have no (or very few) followers themselves.
At the current rate, he’s adding about 10,000 followers every hour.
Yes, you can buy Twitter followers; in fact, it’s become a thriving business.
Why might the Romney campaign think it’s a good idea to shell out Rmoney to artificially pump up their numbers? Well, I’m no mind-reader, but I suspect this comparison could have something to do with it:
By the way, in the few minutes it took me to grab the screenshot of Romney’s profile and post this article, his follower count rose by more than a thousand. He’s got a long way to go to catch up with Obama, but plenty of cash to spend.
The Romney campaign denies it:
Romney campaign:We didnt buy any Twitter followers. bit.ly/OgvPNC
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) July 21, 2012