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Donald Trump's Twitter is Being Followed by Millions of Bots and Nobody is Sure Why

CNN
Recently there have been reports that Donald Trump's Twitter following has been surging massively. In some senses these reports have been greatly exaggerated, but in others they haven't, and it raises some rather harrowing questions to throw onto the ever growing pile that's been sitting outside the White House since Trump first parked his rear end on the Oval Office chair.

Since then, Trump hasn't been coy about expressing his views on Twitter, in fact it's the only thing he's really been focusing his complete attention on since taking office, so it shouldn't come as that big of a surprise that his follower count is rising. In the past month or so, the account seems to have amassed some two million new followers, which is an unprecedented amount even for a popular account. Obama managed to pick up one million in about 24 hours, but that was on his last day in office.

Here's the thing though, the vast majority of Obama's followers are real living, breathing humans, whereas it seems that more than half of Trump's followers, and a huge contingent of the new ones, are not. Those who have taken the time to look into it have discovered that most of them are bots, but why?

It's hard to say, there are numerous different theories, but many of them take their basis from the disproved notion that Trump picked up millions of new followers in a matter of days, not weeks. In either case, some have suggested that Trump's PR team might have bought these followers, a known practice among famous people, but not usually government officials, least of all the president. Others have suggested something a bit more sinister - a 'bot war'.

What that essentially means is that Trump is ramping up to take down his online critics by subjecting them to bot lead 'attacks' to spam and discredit them. Of course, if that's the case, it would be extremely easy to prove, and would be a PR disaster even by Trump's standards. Others, meanwhile, have suggested that this is Russia's doing, another attempt to influence the US media from the outside. It's a little far-fetched, but the Russians certainly aren't averse to using bots.

In reality, it might just be a transparent ploy to bolster metrics so that Trump can brag about them more. He has a bit of an issue with vanity and a very large issue with honesty, so if he starts bragging about his rising follower account, or listing famous users who have less followers than him (SAD!), then that's probably why. Or it could just be that everyone loved the covfefe thing.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum

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Donald Trump's Twitter is Being Followed by Millions of Bots and Nobody is Sure Why Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, June 05, 2017 Rating: 5

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