Now, software to unmask fake Twitter accounts

Status People’s software divides followers into the fake, the inactive and the good.

Updated: Aug 26, 2012, 17:24 PM IST

London: It is claimed that Lady Gaga has almost 30 million Twitter followers, Wayne Rooney nearly five million and David Cameron a more-than-respectable two million plus, but we don’t how many of their followers actually exist.

Now, a British start-up company has now devised a software tool to expose the fake and fraudulent followers being used to massage the numbers claimed by celebrities and politicians within the Twittersphere.

Status People’s software divides followers into the fake, the inactive and the good.

The number of followers of an individual Twitter account is seen as a measure of influence that can be translated into financial value by advertisers and marketing companies.

Company executive Rob Waller said it had been decided to create the “fake follower” tool after reports that former Tory MP Louise Mensch had 40,000 fake followers. The fake follower tool aims to expose the true extent of the problem of phantom Twitter followers.

“A fake account is set up to follow people or send out spam. They normally have no followers, but follow large numbers of people. An inactive account is one in which there has been no activity for a while. They could be real people, but we would describe them as consumers of information rather than sharers of information. A good account is everything that remains,” Waller said.

The tool analyses an account``s 100,000 most recent followers, but Waller said they hoped to improve its accuracy.

It found that Lady Gaga has only 29 percent “good” followers, Wayne Rooney 30 percent and David Cameron 37 percent.

Comedians and entertainers also have a relatively small proportion of “good” followers: Stephen Fry 36 percent, Alan Carr 39 percent and Ricky Gervais 34 percent.