More than half of billionaire Elon Musk’s followers on Twitter are fake, an online auditing tool has claimed. The news has surfaced just days after Mr Musk clinched a deal to buy the micro-blogging website for $44 billion.
The results of the audit on SparkToro showed that 53.3 per cent of Mr Musk’s followers are fake, which means they are either spam accounts, bots or no longer active.
The tool can be accessed by any Twitter user for checking how many of their followers are fake. NDTV, however, can’t authenticate the results shown by SparkToro.
Mr Musk has 90 million followers on Twitter.
Speaking about its methodology, SparkToro told The Independent, “This audit analyses a sample of 2,000 random accounts from the most recent 100,000 accounts that follow elonmusk, then looks at 25+ factors correlated with spam/ bot/ low quality accounts.”
On the result page of its audit, SparkToro said, “Accounts with a similar sized following to @elonmusk have a median of 41% fake followers. This account has more fake followers than most.”
Mr Musk is currently in the process of completing his takeover of Twitter. He had pledged to make it free of bots and spam accounts.
“If our Twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying,” the Tesla chief had tweeted on April 21.
News agency Reuters reported last week that Mr Musk sold $8.5 billion worth of shares in Tesla to finance his planned purchase of Twitter Inc.
He sold about 9.6 million shares last week, according to the US securities filings on Thursday and Friday, equating to 5.6 per cent of his stake in the company.
Musk’s net worth is $268 billion, according to Forbes.