More Bad News for Justin Bieber: Almost Half of His Twitter Followers Are Fake

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
April 10 2013 2:15 PM

More Bad News for Justin Bieber: Almost Half of His Twitter Followers Are Fake

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Don't sweat it, Bieber

Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images

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.

ChartOfTheDay_1031_Top_10_Twitter_Accounts_n

Chart by Statista.

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Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies.