A new report by SparkToro and Followerwonk claims that 19.42% of active Twitter accounts are fake or spam. This number is nearly four times the official estimation given by Twitter in Q4 of 2021. Recently, fake Twitter accounts have become a hot topic due to Elon Musk.
According to the company, fake and spam accounts comprises less than 5% of the users. However, many experts have raised questions about the methodology used by Twitter to calculate these accounts.
Elon Musk also tweeted that his Twitter acquisition deal is currently on hold because he wants to confirm the percentage of Twitter users who are spam or fake accounts.
However, what is a Spam or Fake Twitter Account? The social company has its definition of fake accounts to look better in front of the public. However, Sparktoro may have a better-suited definition.
“Spam or Fake Twitter accounts are those that do not regularly have a human being personally composing the content of their tweets, consuming the activity on their timeline, or engaging in the Twitter ecosystem.”SparkToro
Fake Twitter accounts
SparkToro and Followerwonk teamed up and applied a single spam/fake account analysis process to five different accounts. They analyzed the Twitter followers of @ElonMusk, @Twitter, and their accounts.
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A random sample of 44,058 active accounts was also analyzed and found to have 8,555 fake accounts. They believe this dataset best represents how many active Twitter users are likely to be spam or fake.
70 % of Elon Musk’s followers are spam or fake
According to Sparktoro analysis, 70.23% of Elon Musk’s followers are likely to be fake or spam accounts. This number is above and beyond the median for fake followers. However, Elon Musk might not be responsible for it, and it might just be due to his active use of Twitter and the social media’s recommendation systems.
Another analysis of Elon Musk’s 26.8M active followers showed 23.42% fake accounts, which is not that far from the global average.
Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition deal hangs in limbo for now due to the misrepresentation of fake accounts by the company. However, is it just an excuse to back out of the deal after realizing how it is hurting Musk’s other businesses?