So… after Real, Serious, I-Am-So-Not-Doing-This-Just-for-the-Grift presidential candidate Newton Leroy Gingrich complained that the press was not taking him seriously even though “I have six times as many Twitter followers as all the other candidates combined”, real serious journalist John Cook at Gawker wrote:
…[I]f Newt is winning the Twitter primary, it’s because of voter fraud. A former staffer tells us that his campaign hired a firm to boost his follower count, in part by creating fake accounts en masse:
“Newt employs a variety of agencies whose sole purpose is to procure Twitter followers for people who are shallow/insecure/unpopular enough to pay for them. As you might guess, Newt is most decidedly one of the people to which these agencies cater…”
That’s quite a different explanation for Gingrich’s Twitter popularity than the one offered by this Politico story on the subject: “[I]t’s his personal touch: He tweets and manages his Twitter feed himself, his campaign confirmed to POLITICO. All told, he has tweeted 2,611 times in the 29 months since he joined the site.”
If my math is correct, that works out to just over 81 tweets per month, which doesn’t seem all that ambitious; from outside the Twitterverse, it looks like ABL or John Cole must send that many on a average day, and they have real jobs to attend to. Perhaps the Politico reporter had ‘tongue so firmly in cheek as to protrude from the vulgar bodily orifice’?
Anyway, many people did not like the implication that Newt was buying
friends followers, or possibly that some of their own Twit-fans might not love them for their highly compressed wit and insight. Sufficient noise was raised, in fact, that within a day Cook was able to post an “Update: Only 92% of Newt Gingrich’s Twitter Followers Are Fake“: