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.