Forget what you’ve heard about Donald Trump’s declining popularity from the #FakeNewsMedia. The president’s approval ratings have spiked in the past few months among the critical egg avatar demographic on Twitter.
The president currently enjoys 31 million followers on Twitter, far less than Barack Obama’s 89.2 million and way too high for a man who doesn’t know how to thread properly. Though Trump nonetheless experienced a fairly steady increase in his number of followers over the past three and half months, the vast majority of them appear to be bots.
His bot army is growing stronger by the day, and we just don’t know what they want.
We took a look at Trump’s recent uptick in followers with Social Rank and Socialbakers, both social analytics tools, as well as Twitter Audit, a program which combs through Twitter to sort real followers from fake ones.
Here’s what we found.
The president experienced an increase of 2.3 million followers in May, adding approximately 573,000 followers each week.
Since February 7th, the president has gained almost 7 million followers, Social Rank reports. None of this is particularly surprising—Trump is, after all, a new president with a growing audience.
What is strange is the percentage of his new followers that appear to be bots. Of Trump’s 7 million new followers, 4 million of them are egg avatars, who are disproportionately likely to be fake.
When Trump had 24.1 million followers in February, by comparison, just 5 million of them were egg accounts, according to Social Rank.
Approximately 57 percent of Trump’s new followers since February are egg avatars. More of his followers appear to be bots than humans. It’s a significant, if not alarming, spike.
Other politicians, of course, have bots following them, but none at quite the same ratio. According to Twitter Audit, just 51 percent of Trump’s followers, or 15,880,610 users appear to be authentic.
Compare that to Barack Obama. 79 percent percent of his followers are estimated to be real. 61 percent of Clinton’s followers, by contrast, are estimated to be authentic, giving her a 10 percent advantage over Trump.
A brief look at Trump’s new followers gives you a good idea of who they might be: either bots or dweebs with no friends.
According to Social Rank, of Trump’s new followers, 17 percent posted in the last 90 days, 27 percent posted before but not in last 90 days, and 56 percent of them have never posted.
Trump has always had a robust bot military. Russian bots played a critical role in the 2016 presidential election. Automated bots made up 18 percent of Twitter traffic during the election, and disproportionately favored President Trump. Close to 33 percent of pro-Trump tweets came from bots.
It’s unclear who or what’s causing this spike in bots, but one thing is clear: it can’t be good.