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Mitt Romney Twitter account filled with fake followers, analysis finds

John E Dunn | Aug. 13, 2012
Want more Twitter followers? Security firm Barracuda Networks has discovered just how easy it is to become popular on the service as long as you don’t mind whether the accounts are real and are prepared to buy them by the thousand.

As of 9 August, Romney's follower numbers stood at 796,713.

"Based on the above distinguishable features, we believe most of these recent followers of Romney are not from a general Twitter population but most likely from a paid Twitter follower service," said Barracuda's research scientist, Jason Ding.

Similar problems have previously been uncovered by Barracuda Networks in an analysis of Facebook accounts. Only days ago, Facebook itself was forced to admit that almost 9 percent of its user base - 83 million accounts - might be fake in one way or another.

"Fake users should be a huge concern to both Facebook and Twitter because of the threat they create to user trust, online security and the overall community feeling of the social networks. This obviously threatens advertising revenue as organisations begin to question the true visibility and reach of their ad campaigns," commented Barracuda Networks' chief research officer, Dr. Paul Judge.


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