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Donald Trump tweet fact checker Washington Post
via @realDonaldTrump / Twitter / Washington Post

Almost half of Trump’s Twitter followers are fake

Who will he shout at in his early morning tweet storms now?

Twitter should probably crack down on the Donald’s 31-million strong following. Nearly half of them were found to be either fake accounts or bots, reports Newsweek. Over the weekend, Trump’s Twitter following experienced an unusual spike. Screenwriter John Niven pointed out the strange occurrence, saying, “Trump's Twitter acc has suddenly gained 3 mil followers and has been blocking lots of people. New followers look like this...” alongside a screenshot of the faceless accounts.

When Donald touched the orb, is this what he wished for? Trump’s account was put through an audit, which calculated that 51 per cent of his 31 million followers – 15.8 million – were real. Naturally, nearly every account on Twitter counts a few bots among their dedicated fanbase. It’s the proportion of those followers that is uncanny. By contrast, former president Barack Obama was put through the audit test and only counts 21 per cent as fake.

8.3 million of the 10 million followers Trump has amassed since January aren’t real. Sad! People are beginning to ask whether or not Trump – currently dealing with the quick resignation of White House Communications Director Michael Dubke – is buying up followers. Perhaps this is part of a larger PR strategy. Looking at his recent followers count, nearly all follow the same 20 accounts. None have a profile image.

“I’ve recently worked with 'buying crowds' for a business,” someone on Reddit commented. “Needless to say, as part of branding and promotion, there are a multitude of ways to make yourself appear to be much larger, and more popular, than you actually are. Personally, I’d be surprised if a quarter of Trump's online followers were actually real people.”

The question remains as to whether or not Trump will have a crisis of confidence during his 4am tweet storms. If a tweet gets published and no one is around to see it, does it get an RT?