Twitter Crackdown: How many fake followers do the big radio stations and shows have?
@kyleandjackieo, @hamishandandy, @triplej and @Smallzy are among the Twitter accounts in radio with the highest number of fake followers, according to Twitter auditing tool Twitter Audit.
The social media giant announced last Wednesday that it is purging dodgy and suspicious accounts, as well as accounts that have been locked over the past few years due to “sudden and strange” changes in behaviour.
A follower account will only be removed once Twitter has reached out to the owners of the account and request they validate it, Twitter announced on its blog.
“Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop,” said a spokesperson for Twitter.
“We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.”
In the days following the announcement, Radio Today looked into some of the most popular Twitter accounts for radio shows, networks and stations, using paid auditing tool Twitter Audit.
The tool analyses any given account’s followers using similar criteria to that officially announced by Twitter, and shows accounts with low-quality tweets (either old and abandoned, inactive or obviously “fake”).
ABC’s triple j (77% real) and Nova’s Smallzy (72% real) were also among the worst according to the audit too.
At the other end of the spectrum, Hit Network’s Ash London (@ash_london), Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa (@fitzyandwippa), Hughesy and Kate (@HughesyandKate) and Kate, Tim and Marty all had in excess of 90% real followers.
It will certainly be interesting to see whether these numbers change over the coming weeks and months, as Twitter indicates that the process will be fairly automatic and that it will attempt to better keep on top of fake accounts in the future.
“Follower counts may continue to change more regularly as part of our ongoing work to proactively identify and challenge problematic accounts,” said the Twitter spokesperson.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Kyle and Jackie O show has since told Radio Today that the show welcomes the forthcoming purge of inactive accounts by Twitter.
“Just to 100% set the record straight, we’ve never purchased any followers,” said the spokesperson.
“As early adopters of Twitter in 2009, we were lucky enough to be on the platform’s ‘Recommended’ list, which explains why our account has a slightly higher inactive rate of followers than other – newer – accounts. It goes without saying, we can’t control who follows us and welcome any purge of accounts that aren’t active or fake.”