Pope Francis, US President Trump and PM Narendra Modi are the top three followed accounts globally, says Newslaundry. The Pope and President comfortably outnumber PM Modi in number of Twitter followers. But they are no match for Modi when it comes to percentage of fake followers. While 37% of Trump’s 48.9 million followers are fake, 60% of the Indian Prime Minister’s 41 million followers are fake, revealed media outlets citing audits by Twitter Audit.com and Twiplomacy. The reports say 59% of Pope Francis’ 17 million followers are fake.
This would give PM Modi the somewhat dubious distinction of having the most number of fake Twitter followers in the world.
Fake followers include internet bots—an automated application used to imitate workings of accounts of actual humans, thereby imitating them—and inactive followers. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, the second most followed Indian politician after the PM, in contrast, has 51% fake followers, a Twitter audit by Outlook India reveals. Though Congress President Rahul Gandhi has a higher 69% of fake followers, he is no match to the PM when it comes to total number of fake followers. According to the Outlook survey, while Modi has 24,799,527 fake followers, Rahul stands at a comparatively meagre figure of 3,696,460 fake followers. Rahul is also behind Kejriwal, who has 6,449,409 fake followers, according to the survey.
According to Outlook India, PM Modi’s followership increased by seven million in less then 30 days, which prompted the magazine to run the audit. “At the bottom, it’s a numbers game—so generating followers and creating popularity through likes has become a full-fledged profession,” Outlook reported, adding, “So, next time a report tells you who's the most popular leader on social media, perhaps take it with a pinch of salt.”