Hot or Bot? 44% of Joseph Muscat’s Twitter followers are fake or inactive

image via @JosephMuscat_JM

According to Fake Follower Checker the Leader of the Opposition’s Twitter account is riddled with fake, inactive users. It is true he might have more than 2000 followers but 44% of these are just fake or inactive.

This doesn’t come as a shock, I have noticed this kind of ‘cheating’ for some time now. Joseph Muscat’s Twitter account follows 199 people but in turn is followed by 2140. If you’ve been around Twitter you will know this simply doesn’t happen unless you are an online superstar or a social media guru. Joseph Muscat doesn’t yet fall into that category and when seeing such ratio of following:followers it was clear something wasn’t adding up.

Yesterday, an article on Mashable exposed the fact that President Obama’s Twitter account also has 70% fake followers.

The guys over at StatusPeople, responsible for building the software explained how their system works “Fake accounts tend to follow a lot of people but have few followers… We then combine that with a few other metrics to confirm the account is fake.”

This is not the first occurance of politicians inflating their Twitter numbers to demonstrate their power; “They are part of the arsenal of modern-day communications – if you can flaunt a high level of support, you will attract further support.” says Marco Camisani Calzolari, an Italian Professor who also came up with an algorithim to determine fake followers and earlier this year exposed Beppe Grillo’s allegiance of fake followers.

Of course, it has to be said that everyone has fake Twitter followers, the trick is to see how the percentages tally up. Below are my Twitter scores compared to those of Joseph Muscat. For the sake of correctness I am also including the Faker scores for @PNMalta and @PL_Malta. However note that both these two accounts, when they started out, mass followed a lot of people.

So I guess we managed to find yet another similarity between Joseph Muscat and President Obama.

PN vs PL on Twitter; has anything changed?

Yes! A lot has changed…

Since I wrote my last blog about the two main political parties on Twitter quite a few things seemed to have changed on the twittersphere. Back in January, the PN were in a very sorry Twitter state, shameful would probably have been the best word, and the PL were slightly in advantage, not doing great mind you, but decently.

Three months have passed and the PN have blossomed – impeccable activity, use of hashtags, adding media to their tweets. The launch of seems to have a very positive influence. Their Klout score (which actually measures an account’s influence on followers) has gone up from 20 to 36.

On the other hand the PL’s Klout score has gone from 32 to 26. Why? Well because they still use Twitter to regurgitate whatever they say on Facebook. At this point I am even doubting if they actually know their Twitter password.