@TwitterMusic, a verified account on Twitter, has 260K+ followers but the vast majority don't have any tweets, followers or photos which makes us wonder if Twitter is faking its followers?
The @TwitterMusic handle, which first tweeted on Oct. 17, seems to be a Twitter-owned account because we doubt Twitter would verify a fake account. While @TwitterMusic does have seemingly legitimate followers, such as @hanaofangel with a Klout score of 57 and @MikeyS809 with a Klout score of 41, in addition to having a spot on the @TheGRAMMYs/grammynoms list, many of the handles other followers have little to no Klout.
LAUNCH has contacted Twitter via email, Twitter and phone and will update this story if we hear back from them.
Other users following @TwitterMusic include @RahmiSoq, who only follows five Twitter handles, has zero tweets and zero followers, @syuaibah3, who has one follower, zero tweets and follows 18 accounts, -- five of those which are Twitter verified accounts -- and @MRSBeiber3x, who follows 81 people including other verified accounts like @justinbieber, @MileyCyrus and @NICKIMINAJ.
The official @Twitter account -- 6.9M followers -- in addition to @TwitterSports -- 389K+ followers -- also seem to have some fake followers. @TwitterSports, which first tweeted June 17, has 389K+ followers and lists its place as Twitter HQ.
We wonder if those three accounts are listed as suggested ones to follow when newbies sign up and maybe that's why so many followers look "fake" -- because they're new to the service and haven't tweeted yet or posted a profile photo.
Yahoo Research released a study, "Who Says What to Whom on Twitter," in March that revealed nearly 50% of tweets consumed were created by "elite" users in the following categories: media, celebrities, organizations and bloggers.
Or, does @TwitterMusic's sketchy follower base mean that Twitter is activating bots for the account to increase its followers or that it could be a victim to the numerous spam bots on Twitter?
As Mashable reported in 2009, the Twitter follower bots are automated scripts that follow thousands of users in the hope that some of them might follow back and therefore be subjected to its spammy posts.
In August, Gawker reported how 92% of Newt Gingrich Twitter followers were fake and revealed how he bought some of those followers through follow agencies paid by his campaign.
If @TwitterMusic's followers are indeed fake and Twitter had something to do with that, it would go against Twitter's promise of authenticity.
“You’ve just got to be authentic; that’s how you grow your follower base,” Twitter business developer Omid Ashtari told New York Mag in October. “Engagement and authenticity will lead to a stronger audience, and that’s pretty much what I preach.”
@RahmiSoq, who only follows five Twitter handles, has zero tweets and zero followers.
More @TwitterMusic followers.
@Twitter also seems to have fake accounts or newbies who just haven't had time to upload a photo.