Contrary to reports that 68% of Katy Perry’s Twitter followers are just automated bots, Twitter has put the claims to bed.
Shutting down media reports (including one by TIO) that used information supplied by analytics tool twitteraudit.com, Twitter has urged people to treat this data with caution.
Jennie Sager, Twitter‘s Head of Entertainment, APAC, spoke to TIO from the Australian headquarters in Sydney last week.
“We have a lot of systems in place to filter out fake followers and we certainly looked at Katy’s account as she was hitting 100 million [followers],” said Sager.
According to Twitter experts, auditing tools like twitteraudit.com can be unreliable as they mark accounts where users haven’t tweeted recently – aka voyeuristic Twitter users – as fake or bots.
“A difference with our platform is, you can consume all of the information and not be sending tweets, but they actually are 100% real where the user is visiting the site every day and consuming the information but just not actually tweeting.”
A report by DigitalSpy claimed only 88% of Taylor Swift’s 85.3 million Twitter followers were ‘real’, while only 70.4m of Barack Obama’s 89.2m followers were genuine.
According to Sager though, any site other than Twitter which claims it can accurately run audits on followers should be taken with a grain of salt.
“You have to be careful with those reports,” she said, “because they may make inaccurate assumptions, and of course we have a lot of systems in place to make sure those followers are real.”