In a classic example of “astroturf” the UK’s Daily Mail reports that 53% of Obama’s followers on Twitter, or 19.5 million, are not real people. And just 20% “of Obama’s Twitter buddies are real people who are active users.” There are numerous other members of the US Gov that have a lot of fakes as well. However, in some fairness to them, they may not have purchased all of them. It is possible that a fair number of the fakes are created to follow various figures in addition to the one they are created to follow. This would make them seem more “real.” I say this in part because it doesn’t really seem like someone would pay for 3660 fake accounts like Senator Dick Durbin has, or the 4,614 fakes of Representative Steny Hoyer (Steny who????). Its not really enough to bump you up, so why would you bother? So for some of these numbers its no doubt just adding various prominent public figures them to make them seem more real. Probably also a big component is ensuring that those other people linked happen to be ideologically compatible. Which would imply this is done far more by the left than the right, as is also supported by the numbers reported by the DailyMail.
What we are seeing is an attempt to sway public opinion by making it seem as if the public believes things that it does not. And as far as psyops go, this one is fairly innocuous. There are also groups of people who get paid to comment in various places to push an agenda or ad campaign. But thats a different topic and deserves a post of its own
Click here for the article along with the list of others with fake accounts which include Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, John Boehner, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Newt Gingrich.