Is Romney buying Twitter followers?

I didn’t know such a thing was possible, but…

From Little Green Footballs

I don’t follow the campaigns much; did something happen on or around July 20th that could have results in such an upswing of subscribers? Would such a thing even have any impact on the election? It seems a foolish things to spend time and money on.

I think it is Mitt’s hip personality drawing all those people to sign up for twitter just so they can follow him. Many of the followers that I clicked on have no tweets, were following about 15-70 people and had 0-3 followers.

Here is analysis of his new followers: http://blog.eset.se/mitt-romney-are-all-twitter-followers-equal/

According to that analysis Romney’s got just under a million followers whereas Obama has over 17 million. I’m guessing it’s a demographic thing but it’s going to take an awful lot of sock puppetry for Romney to get anywhere near Obama’s numbers.

First amendment, Buckley vs. Valeo!

What the actual mechanism of “buying” 100,000 Twitter followers? How does it work? Who creates them? Where does the money go?

Bots. The money goes to programmers.

How appropriate. :smiley:

To give this a little bump:

Does anyone think that this will have any effect on the election?

On the surface it puts him in a bad light as someone who is desperate for support among the younger demographic and is willing to be slightly underhanded to make it appear he has more support than he does, but the story so far doesn’t seem to have gotten any mainstream attention so it maybe that no one cares.

Here’s a rather interesting article from the Atlantic about the same claim made about Newt Gingrich last year. The conclusion is you’d have to do a whole lot of research to find out.

No, it won’t have any effect. There were similar stories that he packed the audience of his NAACP address with selected black Republicans, and then met with them after his address, just so he could claim that not everyone in the group was so hostile to him. IMHO, that’s at least as bad, and it got no traction either.

Probably offshore programmers at that.

Sounds completely reasonable. Who else would you expect bots to be supporting?

There a companies that will provide followers (and Facebook likes) for a price.
I heard a podcast interview with a guy who ran one of these outfits. It was just brute force done by lots of low-paid workers.

I don’t really see the point. Has anyone other than a radio DJ or boyband member ever cited Twitter following as a professional qualification?

Well no but…

Someone on Romney’s staff probably just wants to get the jump on any potential news story that would have compared Obama’s 10 million twitter followers to Romney’s (hypothetical) 648 followers. If not “real news shows”, then at least the late night talk shows or Jon Stewart would have had a field day with something like that.

Feh. I’m young(ish) and hip (well, haven’t had any replaced) and I don’t give a shit about which candidate has more supporters with short attention spans.

One follow company advertised 1000 followers for $14, so his recent 100k addon would have run $1400. And it is only $14k/million users. So, I’m willing to bet that when people are flooding his campaign with users, he’ll be hitting 10 million+ followers before the election. What would be really funny is if they over-buy and he hits more followers than the global estimate for Internet users.

But, hey, it makes it look like people actually like him :slight_smile:

Not to worry, the PR folks have caught wind of this and hit the brakes. He even lost 16 thousand followers on the 24th!

Fuck, and all this time I’ve been following Mittens for free! :mad: