As the crisis over apparent assassination attempts against prominent Democrats by mailed bombs continued this week, as the Inquisitr reported, Donald Trump took to his Twitter account on Friday morning to complain about his decreasing number of followers on the popular social media platform. In his Twitter posting, Trump also appeared to accuse the Twitter platform of “bias” against him, and said that while his account was once a “rocket ship,” it is now a “blimp.”
But an examination of actual Twitter statistics shows that Trump’s claims are not supported by facts.
Beginning in May of this year, as the tech site Gizmodo reported, Twitter began purging its site of millions of accounts which it identified as “bots” — that is, automated accounts that post without an actual person behind them — or trolls, as well as accounts that appeared to be covertly operated by foreign governments such as Russia, for purposes of influencing the United States political process. In May and June alone, Twitter deleted about 70 million such fake accounts.
In his Friday Twitter post, which appeared at about 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Trump did not indicate whether he was aware of the Twitter purge of fake accounts, as The Independent noted, but simply groused that Twitter had “stifled growth” by “making it harder to join.”
“Twitter has removed many people from my account and, more importantly, they have seemingly done something that makes it much harder to join – they have stifled growth to a point where it is obvious to all,” Trump wrote in the Twitter message. “A few weeks ago it was a Rocket Ship, now it is a Blimp! Total Bias?”
In fact, the site Twitter Audit, which identifies the percentage of authentic followers on any Twitter account, showed on Friday morning that Trump’s account now had 89 percent “real” followers.
As the Inquisitr reported last year, in December of 2017 an audit of Trump’s account showed that only 52 percent of Trump’s followers were authentic — that is, not bots, trolls or foreign government agents.
Trump has also increased, not decreased, his number of followers since late last year. As of November 13, 2017, Twitter Audit showed Trump with 42,518,238 total followers, including more than 13 million fakes. But as of Friday, October 26 of 2018, Trump’s audit shows 55,300,348 followers but only about 5.8 million fakes.
A report of its third-quarter corporate performance issued on Thursday showed that Twitter’s total number of users is down by about nine million per month compared to the previous quarter, according to a Washington Post report, a drop that may be attributable to the platform’s purge of fake accounts. But despite the drop in users, Twitter’s revenue earnings rose by an impressive 29 percent. There was no indication that Twitter has taken measures that “make it harder to join.”