Is Romney Buying Twit-Friends?

And are they mostly, like Romney himself, not of the common meatworld? Charles Johnson at LGF flagged a website I hadn’t seen before:

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…

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….

Zach Green at 140elect explains the concept, and shares some of the best instant responses:

The most despicable thing about Romney buying his Twitter followers is that they’re from China. Didn’t even buy American. — S. Douglas

BREAKING: 425,000 of @MittRomney’s Twitter followers all claim to “live” in a P.O. box in the Cayman Islands — Daily Edge

It’s wrong to accuse @MittRomney of buying followers. He’s really CREATING JOBS for pornbots. You’d know that if you were a job creator. — Top Conservative Cat

Last time I remember accusations of buying followers rising to the top of the political news, John Cook at Gawker was picking apart Newt Gingrich’s claim to have “six times as many Twitter followers as all the other candidates combined” . As a professional investigate reporter, Cook tracked down a marketing search firm, PeekYou, which had already done research establishing that “only 92% of Gingrich’s Twitter followers are fake“:

The average Twitter user, Mackey says, has a follower count that consists of anywhere from 35% to 60% real people. At 8%, Gingrich’s is the lowest PeekYou has ever seen.

Perhaps somebody can fund a PeekYou study to find out if Romney can limbo under Gingrich’s old Low Bar of Embarrassment? The original Cook articles appeared at the beginning of August 2011, so there’s still time to give Newton a little anniversary present before the Tampa convention…

Tbogg gets the last word, for the moment:

There is probably a simple explanation for the fact that Mitt’s twitter minion list grew almost 10% since yesterday. I tend to think that it is because his Mittku (Lemon. Wet. Good.) has a certain appeal to a populace who increasingly find reading the whole 140 character thing to be both time-consuming and burdensome.






106 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    What? Artificial followers? For an artificial human?

    Who could have ever seen that coming?

  2. 2
    Narcissus says:

    The article omitted the fact that after “Lemon. Wet. Good.” Mitt could be heard to say “End of Line.”

    it’s true I was there

  3. 3
    Jay S says:

    The Romney campaign denied that they were buying followers.

    It must be one of those uncoordinated super packs, yeah I bet that’s it!

  4. 4
    General Stuck says:

    Romney may be the consummate Citizens United candidate in the first CU POTUS election. To lead the worlds newest banana republic superpower.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    yes, he’s buying followers.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    Why would a GOP Presidential candidate even need to buy any twits? His whole party and their voters are just right there.

  8. 8
    jayboat says:

    They sure seem to be running an odd campaign over there in Rmoneyville.

    Some aspects of today’s reality don’t feel very real sometimes.

  9. 9
    wrb says:

    He’s a thrifty twit buyer though: he’s offshoring.

  10. 10
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    I’m just posting to brag say that right now I’m sitting in a lovely, breezy park resting up before G and I ride our bikes back to downtown Ventura, where we will have beer and onion rings.

    It’s been a nice day, celebrating 12 years together (though only 6 of those legally recognized by the state).

  11. 11
    David Koch says:

    it’s like the plot of a teen/20-something movie where a nerd pays the hawt girl at school/work to be seen with him thinking it will make him instantly popular.

  12. 12

    Is the soundtrack to “The Magnificent Seven” the best ever or is is the soundtrack to “The Cowboys” discuss.

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    How much is it costing Mitt to buy fake Twitter followers? Why is he doing it? Does it somehow make him look more like a winner, or more presidential than Obama? Or does his campaign just have shit for brains?

  14. 14
    PeakVT says:

    The Romney campaign is awful, but even for them buying followers is excruciatingly stupid. I bet it’s one of the less coordinated outside groups that made the buy. Or maybe even a prankster.

    ETA: It’s ACORN trying to make Romney look bad. /wingnut

  15. 15
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Ventura is pretty nice, been there a couple of times while visiting friends in Carpinteria.

  16. 16
    gbear says:

    @Jay S: Maybe Sheldon Adelson is doing it to be helpful.

  17. 17
    Tonal Crow says:

    With apologies to Robert Plant, I offer this:

    ————————————————

    There’s a Romney who’s sure,
    All that glitters is gold,
    And he’s buying the door to the White House.

    That he’ll get there he knows,
    ‘Cuz the media blows,
    And the “checkers” are all on his payroll.

    Ooo-ooo-oooooo, ooooooooo-oo-ooo-ooo-ooo,
    And he’s buying the door to the White House.

    There’s a sign on the wall:
    David Brooks he must call,
    ‘Cuz you know, sometimes facts need obscuring.

    “I can’t win by the book,
    “So by hook and by crook!
    “I shall lie, from the morn ’til the eve’ning!”

    Ooooo, it makes me wonder.
    Ooooo, it makes me wonderrrrrrrrrrr.

    There’s a feeling he gets,
    That Obama is best,
    But his ego is crying for power.

    In his thoughts he has seen,
    Rings of smoke through the trees,
    And the voices of peasants with pitchforks.

    Ooooo, it makes me wonder.
    Ooooo, reallly makes me wonder.

    And it’s whispered that soon,
    If the GOP calls the tune,
    Then the Randites will lead us to Galt-land.

    And a new day will dawn,
    For the rich, not the pawn,
    And the workers will slave on, forever.

    If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow,
    Don’t be alarmed now.
    It’s just a libtard with some filings.

    Yes there are two paths you can go by,
    But in the long run,
    There’s still time to change the road you’re on.

    And it makes we wonder.

    Your head is humming and it won’t go,
    In case you don’t know.
    The piper’s callin’ you to pay him.

    Dear liar can you hear the wind blow,
    And did you know,
    Your power lies on the whisp’ring wind.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Lawrence of Arabia.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Or does his campaign just have shit for brains?

    Yes.

    SATSQ.

  21. 21
    gbear says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    With apologies to Robert Plant

    Don’t worry about it. Plant and Page ripped off so many blues artists for their ‘original’ songs that you should be able to mess around with one Zep song without feeling guilty.

  22. 22
    Jebediah says:

    @Tonal Crow:
    Excellent!

  23. 23
    David Koch says:

    Best Score: “The Wind and the Lion” by the late great Jerry Goldsmith

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glxDkhbPf44

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, now that I think about it, this does make sense, as Mitt is a Twit.

  25. 25
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Congrats. Onion rings, yum. A few months ago I dragged the wife to try a burger place, Habit Burger, she didn’t want to go. She’s not a burger or fries person. She loved it. We’ve been back for Mother’s day and Father’s day with her daughter, their onion rings are the best.

  26. 26
    L. Ron Obama says:

    It’s like spam is a new concept to some people.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Anya:

    The lulz, they are the true product of the utterly incompetent Mittens campaign.

  28. 28
    cathyx says:

    I’d follow him if he paid me.

  29. 29
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Amir Khalid: My guess is the latter.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    Romney’s trying to buy the election. Are we really surprised that he would buy Twitter followers?

  31. 31
    cathyx says:

    @cathyx: And, I would ‘like’ him too. But that would cost a little more.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @cathyx:

    So would I.

    I’d donate some of it to the Obama campaign!

  33. 33

    You know I think that (in my tiny mind) that Dances With Wolves was the best movie track ever, the sweeping low brass of the scene where he is going out to the frontier is just classic, and perfect/

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    One can certainly make that argument. Agree with you about the sweeping low brass. Coupled with the cinematography, the tiny wagon on an endless sea of prairie, and, yup, it’s a great sequence.

    Which is similar to Lawrence and those sweeping vistas of the desert that catapulted drink sales at the concession stand.

  35. 35
    Anya says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I don’t understand why didn’t they at least choose gender neutral names? Maybe they think people are stupid. They must be if they’re not millionaires.

  36. 36
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @Tonal Crow: Recorded by Gold Zeppelin!

  37. 37
  38. 38
    WereBear says:

    The theme to Exodus was rather epic.

  39. 39
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @David Koch: Yes, but otherwise he wouldn’t have gone on to be the hot doctor. Inventing twitter followers doesn’t even come close.

  40. 40
    Tonal Crow says:

    I wonder whether any of these twitollers will also appear in Romney’s FEC filings? Come to think of it, I need to look at his contributors list.

  41. 41
    chrome agnomen says:

    wizard of oz?

  42. 42
    dance around in your bones says:

    Twitter fuckups. Hoocoodanode?

    So Romneyishishishish….

  43. 43
    maya says:

    The greatest theme for the summer.

  44. 44
  45. 45
  46. 46
    JPL says:

    @lamh35: Will Mitt’s bus be there? Actually Mitt is on the phone now asking for time.

  47. 47
    demz taters says:

    He’s not adding followers. They were retroactively following all along.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Yutsano:

    Gawd, that brought back memories. I think I was about 10 or 11? when I first saw The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. Our parents were there, so my sister and I had to act blasé and unimpressed.

    Luckily, the next weekend the parental units were not home when Ed Sullivan had them on again. We were free to scream our little butts off and sink to our knees.

    I saw A Hard Day’s Night at the Kirtland AFB in ABQ the same year and you literally could not hear the movie for all the girls’ screaming.

  50. 50
    JPL says:

    The NYTimes has an article for those who are wealthy enough to buy their own twitter followers. link What to tell children about their inheritance and when. Some of us are concerned about simpler things but whatever. It is all the news that’s fit to print.

  51. 51
    dmsilev says:

    I have no words:

    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is floating legislation that would name most U.S. coastal waters after former President Ronald Reagan.
    __
    Issa reintroduced his bill Wednesday to rename the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which generally extends from three miles to 200 miles offshore, as the Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone.

    Can someone please punch Darrell Issa in the nuts? This is only one of many reasons why it’s amply justified.

  52. 52
    lamh35 says:

    @JPL: R-Money is too busy getting ready for his mission trip abroad.

  53. 53
    NotMax says:

    It must get awfully tiresome to follow someone who has expressed no conception of where he’s going.

  54. 54
    maya says:

    @efgoldman: Nope! We existed in a netherworld of darkness. You Tube has set our hearts, eyes and ears free. Besides, linking to vinyl is somewhat scratchy.

  55. 55
    maya says:

    @gbear:

    So what movie was that from, smart ass?

  56. 56
    Tehanu says:

    The Godfather. If you can get that theme out of your head, good for you.

  57. 57
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @dmsilev: Wasn’t there something about idols that the Republicans keep ignoring?

  58. 58
    gbear says:

    @efgoldman:

    Did we actually have lives before YouTube?

    :) It comes in handy when you don’t own a TV.

  59. 59
    hilts says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Check out these film scores

    The French Connection – Don Ellis
    The Conversation – David Shire
    The Great Escape – Elmer Bernstein
    The Andromeda Strain – Gil Melle
    North by Northwest – Bernard Herrmann
    Z – Mikis Theodorakis
    The Battle of Algiers – Ennio Morricone and
    Gillo Pontecorvo

  60. 60
    handy says:

    @dmsilev:

    Wow. I’m surprised he didn’t try to name it “The Darrell Issa Exclusive Economic Zone Sponsored By Goldman Sachs and DEI Holdings”

  61. 61
    gbear says:

    @maya: Is there any song that hasn’t been used in a soundtrack?

    (I did have to google it. I’d never heard of that movie before)

  62. 62
    NotMax says:

    @efgoldman

    Also, too

    Nino Rota, La Strada
    Arthur Bliss, The Shape of Things To Come

  63. 63
  64. 64
    NotMax says:

    @gbear

    Can’t say 100% it hasn’t been in a soundtrack, but would be fairly confident with a 99.9% chance.

    Teenage Enema Nurses In Bondage

  65. 65
    NotMax says:

    @efgoldman

    :) Nope.

    Impossible not to break into a grin when it was played on the radio (by some of the more ‘subversive’ stations) during the 80s.

  66. 66
    gogol's wife says:

    @efgoldman:

    I have recently discovered Herrmann’s score for Jane Eyre (which for some reason was covered by some other score on the version that TCM showed, but you could hear the original over the opening credits). It is fantastic. I love all his work for Hitchcock, but the Jane Eyre is a revelation.

  67. 67
    gogol's wife says:

    @JPL:

    Yes, that article made me throw up.

  68. 68
    Jay S says:

    Romney’s twitter surge seems to be ending. Is there a power outage at a server farm somewhere?

  69. 69
    maya says:

    @gbear: So, you’ve increased the size of the hunt from movie themes to soundtracks. It’s like dealing with the Republican House on any form of legislation.

  70. 70
    debit says:

    One of my favorite soundtracks of all time is Damon Alburn and Michael Nyman’s for Ravenous. This song always gives me the chills.

  71. 71
    JoyceH says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Lawrence of Arabia.

    Without question.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tonal Crow: Good artists borrow; great artists steal.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    Amir Khalid says:

    Two soundtracks I have a soft spot for are Williams’ Schindler’s List, with some haunting work from featured soloist Itzhak Perlman; and Danny Elfman’s Edward Scissorhands. Nobody considers the latter among the greats, but it just speaks to me.

  75. 75
    GG says:

    @Tonal Crow: YES yes yes – that’s wonderful!! Mr. S, who has written some pretty good parody lyrics himself, if I may say so, loved it too.

  76. 76
    karen marie says:

    I looked at who a bunch of the fake Twitter accounts are following and they mostly include all or some of the following:

    Ron Paul
    Sean Hannity
    Karl Rove
    Michelle Malkin
    NRA News
    Fox News
    Bill O’Reilly
    Mitt Romney
    CPAC
    S.E. Cupp
    James Rosen
    Tucker Carlson
    Brett Baier

    Several of the fake accounts have one follower — this guy:

    Robert Golla ‏ @RobertGollaToGo
    Author of Conservative Wit, Champions of Liberty, The Greatest Speeches of World War II, and Conversations with Michael Crichton.

    Very weird.

  77. 77
    Geoduck says:

    O Brother Where Art Thou? is the only soundtrack I’ve ever liked enough to go out and buy.

    And it’s obscure, but one of my favorite Elfman songs was the theme he did for the short-lived live action Flash series. (The superhero.)

  78. 78

    @NotMax: Ahh, memories. WLIR-FM (92.7). New Wave. The Screamer of the Week.

    Good times.

    Thanks for the flashback.

    ETA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  79. 79
  80. 80
    karen marie says:

    Also very strange: Robert Golla/@RobertGollaToGo is following 12,344 other Twitter accounts, many of which appear to be fake, some of which follow Hispanic showbiz people and Fox News Latino.

  81. 81
    debit says:

    @efgoldman: Sorry it didn’t work for you.

  82. 82
    Valdivia says:

    Like @hilts said above

    The movie Z had amazing music

  83. 83
    NotMax says:

    @Valdivia

    And was, and remains, an amazing film.

    Realizing that it places me into a distinct minority, anyone else like the soundtrack from Koyaanisqatsi?

  84. 84
    Schlemizel says:

    sorry, you’re all all wrong. The greatest movie soundtrack was for “Amadeus”. But it had a bit of an unfair advantage 8-{D

  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @HelpThe99ers: Josie Cotton redid that song recently. Interesting re-envisioning.

  86. 86
    Yutsano says:

    @NotMax: I have a love/hate relationship with Phillip Glass. Some of his compositions are amazing, but going to music school when I did (late 90s early Aughts) he was THE thing and got shoved down our throats. And not in a good way.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Everything about that movie is great. Philistine.

  89. 89
    NotMax says:

    @Yutsano

    Yuppers.

    Some of Glass can be, shall we say, trying to sit through.

    Would put Akhnaten among a top rank listing of opera compositions, though.

    Glass has almost always touched some inner chord for me, whereas John Adams’ often similar minimalism totally and perpetually leaves me cold.

  90. 90
    Ken says:

    @karen marie: I’m reminded of Charles Stross’ Rule 34. If they’re not careful, the Republican Party might get misidentified as a spambot and shut down.

  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ken: Misidentified?

  92. 92
    Ken says:

    @dmsilev: Priority #1, jobs. Or not. Whatever.

    Plus there’s something a little off about naming a government-created entity after Reagan. It’s not quite as bad as the Reagan Tollway (I-88 in northern Illinois) but it also doesn’t fit the winger’s plaster-saint version of the man.

  93. 93
    Yutsano says:

    @NotMax: Adams writes his minimalism intentionally emotionless. So your reaction is quite normal. Plus his electronic stuff grates on me. Glass at least if you were so inclined you could meditate to.

  94. 94
    karen marie says:

    I can’t believe you people aren’t the least bit curious who this Robert Golla guy is and why he is the only follower of 1000s of fake twitter accounts set up to follow Mitt, Newt, Sean Hannity, etc.

  95. 95
    karen marie says:

    @Ken: I’m finding what appears to be a very big industry of creating fake followers for a lot of rightwingers. Many of them have the Golla guy as the only follower, many of them have other solo followers in common.

    I’m trying to get a journalist to look into it. I don’t have the resources.

  96. 96
    NotMax says:

    @karen marie

    Maddow did a piece about this same thing not too long ago.

    Halfway out the door for a dinner party, otherwise would find and give a link.

  97. 97
    Ruckus says:

    Is Romney Buying Twit-Friends?

    How the hell else would he get them?

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    The Habit is good stuff — we got a big takeout order from them last year for the Fourth of July at our office.

    Hook Burger in Burbank is owned by the same folks and also has very tasty burgers that are a little more upscale, plus they have a beer and wine license. Just sayin’.

  99. 99
    mannemalon says:

    @karen marie: I’d tweet @BuzzFeedAndrew …this is right up his alley.

  100. 100
    NotMax says:

    Here’s the Maddow segment mentioned above in #110 touching on the phenomenon of phony internet supporters, which, spookily enough, in this case seems based in Aurora, Colorado:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U_fuVEK6NU

  101. 101
    low-tech cyclist says:

    I think Romney has just clinched this year’s Upper-Class Twit of the Year title, without even having to shoot himself.

    Not that that would be any loss to society.

  102. 102
    tybee says:

    The Big Chill

  103. 103
  104. 104
    divF says:

    @tybee:
    If you’re going down that road, then “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” is right up there, also for the final lines

    Stacy: I want a relationship. I want romance.
    Linda: In Ridgemont? We can’t even get cable TV here, Stacy, and you want romance.

    And somehow, there is only one or two degrees of separation on the web between “Teenage Enema Nurse” and “Warm Leatherette”.

  105. 105
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    You people don’t complain just because Obama appeals especially to blacks. Why complain because RMoney appeals to soulless bots?

  106. 106
    Jebediah says:

    @Tonal Crow:
    Maybe thread is now dead, but if you are up for another lyrical challenge, all day I have been hearing he Yardbirds singing “Mittster You’re a Better Man than I.” Don’t knwo exactly how the lyrics would go, but you did such a damn fine job with the Zeppelin tune…

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