Justin Bieber recently overtook Lady Gaga as the most followed person on Twitter. But a new report by the BBC suggests he may have earned the record unfairly.
BBC says the website Socialbakers examined both Bieber’s and Gaga’s followers and found that of the Biebs’ 37.3 million followers, only 17.8 million of them are genuine accounts linked to real people. That means 53 percent of Biebers’ followers are probably spambots. As for Gaga, her potentially genuine followers are 19 million, which means she should technically still hold the record for most Twitter followers.
Socialbakers categorizes fake followers by checking to see whether the accounts have generated any genuine tweets, rather than spam links. It also filters continuously tweeted buzz phrases like “make money,” “work from home,” and “diet.”
Users can check their own Twitter accounts to determine how many of their followers are legit by authorizing the Socialbakers app at the website’s “Fake Follower Check” page.