2013 has been a rough year for Justin Bieber, whose antics—like with gossip writers and even Nightline wondering whether the 19-year-old singer is in the midst of a meltdown. (You know things are bad when Chris Brown says he’s praying for you.) January brought him a little good news, at least: He became the “King of Twitter,” beating out Lady Gaga to become the person with the most followers.
But it appears he is a pretender to the Twitter throne: Socialbakers, a company that analyzes social media stats, estimates that almost half of his 37.3 million Twitter followers are fake (16.7 million) or inactive (2.6 million). If you eliminate the phony and hibernating accounts, Bieber has 17.8 million “good” followers—which puts him behind Lady Gaga and her 19 million “real” followers. As if it wasn’t bad enough that he lost the Klout crown to Barack Obama last year.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.