Fake Followers of the Rich and Famous


Written by Jacob Brookman
02 Sunday 02nd September 2012

Up until now, this was largely an unprovable, unpunishable social crime. But now StatusPeople.com is offering a way to trace the fakers (go ahead, check yourself). With this in mind, Don’t Panic casts a scrupulous eye on some of these accounts.


Katherine Jenkins

Very much the Twitter account de jour, Miss Jenkins cleverly turned a nasty Internet rumour into headline news last week when she denied having an affair with David Beckham. While this undoubtedly has profound influence on her numbers, according to Internet service Statuspeople.com, Katherine’s followers are:

Good: 43%
Inactive: 49%
Fake: 8%

Now, a note of explanation. For ‘Good’ followers, we can identify genuine, proactive humanoids who tweet and share and search. The other two categories can be loosely grouped into false-intentional (i.e. purchased/fake) and false-incidental (i.e. spam/inactive/zombie) accounts. Within this category, there is the exciting possibility that they could be pornobots! - More on that later.

Louise Mensch

The ex-Tory MP comes in for a lot of shit on Twitter. The lefty mob are always keen to vilify rightwing women as callous, hard-edged, ugly bitches. As such, the recent scandal over Louise Mensch’s 40,000 fake followers must be taken with a pinch of salt – you can, after all, buy Twitter fans for someone without their knowing – a good ploy if you are trying to undermine them publicly.

Either way, Miss Mensch’s followers look like this:

Good: 37%
Inactive: 27%
Fake: 36%

A pretty even split, and not a particularly attractive one. Actually, she pointed out that the web service in question - statuspeople.com was launched at the same time as the Twitter followers were dropped on her, suggesting that it was some coordinated e-reputation sting:

Stephen Fry

He may be on the other side of the philosophical spectrum to Mensch, but famed actor, comic, raconteur and tweeter Stephen Fry has similarly dubious stats:

Good: 32%
Inactive: 41%
Fake 26%

To be fair to Stephen and the others, Statuspeople.com is measuring the percentages of the last 100k followers, and given that he already had a following of 4.6m before this, it makes him a prime target for spammers.

Here, companies set up dozens of Twitter accounts to market products (porn!). Anyone who’s on Twitter and who occasionally gets spammed will know what I mean – a follower of yours will @tweet you claiming something salacious like ‘OMG – I saw this terrible picture of you’ with the aim of you clicking through.

There are hundreds of thousands of these ‘users’ for the purposes of product marketing.

Piers Morgan

Smarmy shitbag Morgan was News of the World editor at 28. Sparingly, both he and his publication have now departed our shores, but that doesn’t stop him tweeting his bilious garbage from across the pond.

Good: 38%
Inactive: 42%
Fake: 20%

At least we can take some solace in the fact that his 42% inactive followers may be pelting him with garish porno links and penis-enlargement offers. In case you wondered, yes - I’m a ‘Good’ follower, but only so I can tweet @piersmorgan GET FUCKED MORGAN almost daily. Join me.

Lady GaGa

Given that the service offers data on the last 100k followers, trying it on Lady GaGa’s 28 million followers serves better as a case study in how many fakes she gets dropped on her. GaGa is unparalleled on Twitter.

Good: 29%
Inactive: 40%
Fake: 29%

Quite why her social media manager, Troy Carter might want to take the risk is problematic - presumably they want to retain her position at the top of the Twitter charts - which look like this:

  1. Lady GaGa
  2. Justin Bieber
  3. Katy Perry
  4. Rihanna
  5. Britney Spears

But there is another possibility, and it ties into the recent trend for fans of GaGa waging war on Twitter rival, Justin Bieber!

In this battle of Beliebers vs. Little Monsters we could be seeing feverish pre-teens purchasing followers for their favoured pop star, thereby skewing the stats.

But either way, it’s a shame fans are willing to be duped in this way. Social media is still in its nascence and it’s hardly surprising that those early-adopters are delivering some fairly ‘creative’ approaches. The main question is, do people really care how honest their heroes are? 

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at panic@dontpaniconline.com and we will respond asap.