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By VARINDIA    2018-07-11

A Real story of the Bitter Twitter!

Will Modi, RaGa, and Kohli lose their Twitter followers?


The number of Twitter followers determines the popularity of an individual in the digital age and even leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among those who believe in massive following on Twitter. But the recent study conducted by Twiplomacy revealed that a staggering 60 percent of PM Modi’s Twitter followers are not real.


Twitter has since the past few months stepped up its efforts to tackle the rise of fake accounts on its platform. Twitter suspended a whopping number of accounts between May and June this year. The company reportedly shut down as many as 70 million accounts in the said period. The number of suspended accounts went up to 13 million accounts. The drill of spotting a fake account is, when a suspicious account fails to pass the test of verifying their phone number, Twitter shuts down that account. Those accounts which pass are reinstated.


PM Modi’s rival and Congress president Rahul  Gandhi's official twitter handle has 3,696,460 fake followers and 1,715,634 credible ones. The report also revealed that Pope Francis has 59 per cent fake followers. 


Using machine learning tools, Twitter is also proactively monitoring bot accounts that are used to push up follower counts of other profiles - a move which is likely to result in Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, among others, losing followers.


Twitter is screening bot accounts at the sign-up stage


Apart from the aforementioned efforts, Twitter added that automated accounts ("bots", in tech parlance) are being screened during the sign-up process itself - more than 50,000 spam sign-ups per day are being blocked. Twitter bots are software programs that carry out automated tasks like posting and following, and are often used to artificially increase a profile's followers, make an issue trend, promote products, etc.


Following Twitter crackdown, many saw a decline in follower numbers


Earlier this year, Twitter announced important steps in its crusade against bots, trolls, and fake accounts including guidelines that prohibit mass tweets, likes, and follows, as well as posting identical messages from multiple accounts. Last month, Twitter said it found 10 million potentially spammy or automated accounts weekly.


Interestingly, many key figures, from politicians to celebrities, saw sharp declines in numbers of followers.


How Modi, RaGa, and Trump compare


According to Twitter Audit data, PM Narendra Modi, who is the third-most followed politician on Twitter, has 23% fake followers among his 43 million following. That's almost 10 million fake followers. His political adversary, Rahul Gandhi, has 2.5 million fake followers among his 7 million following. However, percentage-wise, RaGa has 36% fake followers.


Meanwhile, 14% of US President Trump's 51 million followers are fake.


Virat Kohli has more fake followers than real ones


Notably, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has more fake followers as opposed to real ones - he has 11,307,796 real followers and 14,217,704 fake ones. His wife, actress Anushka Sharma has only 29% real followers.


Meanwhile, 67% of Deepika Padukone's 25 million Twitter followers are real.


Among Amitabh Bachchan's 30 million Twitter followers, 62% are real.



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