Analysis

More than a third of Keir Starmer’s Twitter fans identified as ‘fake followers’

Starmer hits a million followers – but almost 35% seem to be made up

Observers have used analytics tools to identify a large number of ‘fake’ accounts following Labour leader Keir Starmer on Twitter.

Starmer’s follower count has now exceeded a million followers on Twitter, but analysis on the SparkToro platform suggests that a striking proportion – more than one in three – consists of fake accounts:

And the number seems to be growing rapidly: when a few Twitter users first noticed the discrepancy a couple of days ago, the number was around 350,000, but as of this evening it has risen to more than 375,000.

Twitter’s rules ban the use of fake accounts to pad follower numbers:

Nonetheless, the use of so-called ‘sockpuppet’ and ‘astroturf’ accounts has been common in Tory campaigning and attempts to make the party’s policies appear popular, including a paid ‘army of tweeters‘, but its apparent use on a Labour account is a bad sign – and certainly one that has not gone down well on the left, with complaints to Twitter and a long thread of screen captures of some of the most egregiously fake examples:

Also unusual is the order in which Starmer’s followers are listed on his account. While followers are normally shown in reverse chronological order, with the most recent additions first, the fake accounts appear to be interspersed among genuine followers – even with people who have been following Starmer for a long period showing more recently than new additions, making the addition of fakes less easy to follow.

So far, Twitter does not appear to have responded to the complaints.

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29 comments

    1. Fake leader…Fake supporters..fake accounting with unlimited backing from a foreign government.And add a pinch of election fraud and idiots that voted for him and you end up with Sir keir rodney Starmer with a sanatized fake background and life.style to match.Welcome to the twenty first century?

    2. Let’s just hope the fake government and fake opposition don’t invent a way to register fake followers as real voters – if they haven’t already.
      Now that’s something to worry about 🙂

      1. Yes, Trumpism is catching, Starmer should get some political PE – not that he’d accept it; everything is going to plan he tells his handlers. “Good” they whisper in such a threatening way he’s glad to,get out of there. Now he must go to the British; that’s a lot easier, they like him! He basks in the whisky and flattery. The spooks call it ‘level 3 Disruption’, infiltrating and buggering up the target Organisation.

  1. Somebody made a comment on a previous post here about Starmer’s twitter account showing huge numbers of new followers.
    Are they new Twitter accounts and new email addresses, or are dormant accounts being hijacked?
    I assume it’s a program of some kind – surely hundreds of thousands of people are not involved?
    Curious to know what the characteristics of the new “follower” accounts are that allow them to be identified – and how come Twitter isn’t identifying them but outside “agencies” are?

    1. New accounts with very few followers, only following Starmer and making very short comments, sometimes as little as one word.

  2. Unusual situation on Worldometer today – no number for deaths, just this:

    “Due to a processing issue with deaths data the #COVID19 Dashboard update is delayed today. 48,682 new COVID-19 positive cases have been reported today across the UK.”

    Maybe it’s an embarrassingly massive number and the tories hope to “blend” it with a lower number tomorrow?

      1. I once bought a calculator in Japan with US dollars and the shopkeeper used an abacus to work out the price 🙂.

      2. Apparently abacii (?) are very efficient.
        I’ve got a vague half-memory that I might have read somewhere that a guy with an abacus once beat a guy with a calculator to the answer in an experiment.
        Yeah, sounds like bollocks to me too…

  3. Sorry, more off topic.
    BBC News item about care homes not being able to get insurance to cover them against lawsuits if they allow people in with prior covid cases/tests (bit unclear).
    The reason it’s an issue is that there are apparently ambulance-chasing scumbag lawyers touting for business, presumably from relatives of people becoming infected and looking for somebody to sue for profit.
    Balance of probability may be enough to win such suits but it can’t be proven beyond reasonable doubt where infections come from or whether there’s been negligence.
    The government itself being vulnerable on negligence I think we can expect legislation preventing such lawsuits quite soon.

    1. David no one can get cover for the planned murder of the elderly and vulnerable by placing infected amongst them..Thats life or death as my brothers found out.The conservative and unionist party a lethal union of crazed individuals.

    2. Yes there are many cases where liability can’t be proven except by a balance of probability. There are many many cases of negligence that lead to death and injury ranging from accidents at work to road accidents. The most litigation is in the medical world where the consequences of negligence is perhaps most damaging; the rogue surgeon or dysfunctional neo-natal department. The NHS has to have good insurance. Only lawyers on an approved list are allowed to conduct such cases which is a way of controlling it. The argument is that these cases are so complex and expensive that ‘ambulance chasers’ as Priti Patel might put it are excluded. You can’t imagine there are no cases of negligence in Care Homes? Or that they should be brought to account?

      1. I take it you meant “Or that they should NOT be brought to account?”
        Staff can’t be tested every time they leave the premises and return, and even that would be no guarantee – nothing guarantees anyone can’t pass Covid on.
        Even those totally Covid-free, testing negative before and after, having been isolated for a month until five minutes ago can touch a door handle on the way in and pass it on unknowingly.
        No way fairly to attribute an individual infection to negligence I don’t think, unlike much medical, surgical or personal care, where negligence is often obvious.
        Remember how for months care homes were deprived of adequate PPE, and were forced to accept premature return of residents from hospitals?
        It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that that could happen again.

      2. As an ITU nurse, I took out private insurance. £5m in damages and £20m in court costs, for £32 per annum. I had no faith in the RCN or NUPE in being able to help me. Thankfully, I never did make an error of judgement. That was made the day I decided to become a nurse.

      3. IIRC on two separate occasions, years apart, I’ve read of the NHS being determined to build a no-blame culture – to investigate medical errors purely as a learning exercise without blame or consequences for the person or persons who screwed up.
        How’d that work out, Barrie? 🙂

  4. ‘Jings, Crivvens, help ma Boab!’ I’m shocked and stunned at this news.

    The Adolescents of Southside strike, again.

  5. Christ!

    And to think, I used photos of the private pike (gavin williamson) to scare the livin’ bejaysus outta the kids….I’ll be charged with terrorism if I use that picture on the OP.

  6. Hadn’t finished

    …It looks like an ad for a ‘nasty’ version of some kids Tv show. ‘Ere stammer, what have you done with Zippy and Bungle? 😱😱😱

      1. I guess everybody’s already seen the one of Boris the Victorian Tart?Sepia photograph of him wearing a basque or something?
        Big fat arse? (obviously)

  7. “I don’t believe it”!
    More Far Right Skullduggery and Propaganda!
    When will we get back to normal and start believing Parliament on both majority sides?
    Tories of course are lead by a far right lying racist!
    Then along comes Starmer!
    DDN, is a left wing News gathering organisation with honest Reporting and Investigation of what’s going on in this Far Right Movement!
    That needs sponsorship from us the grassroots who want “EQUALITY FOR ALL WHO ARE DESPERATE FOR TRUTH”.

  8. My Disgust Gland is gorged with blood, different frank.

    Thanks (but I wish I could un-see it)!!

  9. I think you can detect the extreme right wing in the Government (!!!) are building the case to say the NHS failed, it’s Unfit for Purpose and needs private health care to “help”. A quick Commission of Enquiry will make that conclusion. The controversy will be drowned by the furore over Sunak’s proposals as to how he starts to ‘balance the books’. We know who will pay for that. Johnson and people like Rees-Mogg know what they really really want – money.

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