You can now buy Twitter followers. For all of you out there who are craving stardom in the Twitter world, have no fear; fake followers are easy to come by. In fact, it has recently been reported that both Mitt Romney and President Obama each respectively has about 70% fake followers. Obama currently has close to 19 million followers, while Romney has around 900,000.
The popularity contest between the two highlights what has been happening throughout the campaign season. Obama, the once highly popular and highly well liked president has had a major dip in popularity over the past few years. Polls now show that President Obama has support from 47% of voters, while Romney has 45%. Perhaps the 19 million followers help President Obama to give off an image of cool confidence in his numbers, regardless of what the polls say.
On the other hand, Romney only has 900,000 followers, which makes him "Mr. Unpopular" by social media standards. Does this disparity in followers mean he is any less popular?
It is often said that the media, activists, and other Twitter savvy users take a person more seriously if they have a substantial amount of followers. It legitimizes the person, but the polls say otherwise. Romney has kept a steady 45% of followers for the last few months, even after the Todd Akin "Legitimate Rape" comments scandal -- which was predicted to affect Republican standings.
Obama is the president, and most likely has more followers because the tweets carry essential messages about what the Oval Office is doing. Even if the fake 70% of his followers were eliminated, he would still have around 6 million followers. It is definitely not as substantial, but it would still be a far greater number than Romney. Without his 70%, Romney only has around 270,000 followers.
In 2008, social media was one of the key pieces to the success of the Obama campaign. It helped to drive conversations through different platforms, and allowed a younger crowd to feel included in what went on during campaign season. The feel of this campaign season is not one of hope, or change though. There is a lot of blame, disappointment, and disdain about what President Obama and Mitt Romney have brought to the table. It seems like neither side is really satisfied with the situation.
Popularity aside, Obama and Romney did not need fake followers. They are both campaigning for one of the most important jobs in the world. They are not trying to find a claim to fame like some of the so-called celebrities that have fake followers. It is minor issues like these that have taken away from the campaign. There is no substance in the key points that either candidate is making at the moment. The big issues are being brushed under the rug while they focus on popularity and having the most followers.