Romney campaign says it’s not buying followers
Well, here’s a weird one. 140elect.com, a site dedicated to Twitter and politics, noticed a huge spike in followers to the official feed of the Romney campaign. 75,000 new followers in a day, which is a lot by any standards, but especially notable for a campaign that is trying to defeat an incumbent president and trailing him badly in follower count on Twitter. The increase appeared to be a one day, anomalous kind of thing and was back down again a day later, over the weekend. What was also noteworthy was that almost all of the followers appeared to be auto-generated, possibly spambots. This led to speculation that the Romney camp was so desperate that they were buying followers. The Romney team then denied that they were doing this and said they had no idea what was happening.
140elect.com theorizes that this is someone, could be just one person, planting this story to embarrass Romney. I’m not reporting it in order to do so but in order to point out that a HUGE number of “people” on Twitter are bots and that follower count is not a reliable metric for popularity and influence.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.