News & Politics

Joe Biden's Twitter Followers Include 100K 'Sock Puppets' From Foreign Troll Farms

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Hold up. We were told that the social media giants would oversee, like the benevolent dictators they are, this election season. There would be no funny stuff allowed, they promised. They would hold their velvet hammers over the heads of anyone who gained an advantage through social media chicanery. Never again would Russian troll farms be able to buy $150,000 worth of Facebook ads, most of which ran after the election, to sway uh, ex post facto voters for that Russian Secret Agent Donald Trump.

After 2016, outraged professors labeled the practice “weaponization” in a “new kind of information warfare.”

But that’s so passé.

Fast-forward to August of 2020. Newsweek reports that’s when somebody bought Joe Biden a pool of Indian Twitter fake followers to make his following look larger and to amplify his messages on social media. Eventually, those fake followers numbered “more than 100,000” of his 11.8 million followers.

So where are the foreign election interference scolds? Where is all that talk of weaponization of information warfare?

Joe Biden’s Twitter account got a sizable boost beginning in August from tens of thousands of fake followers purchased on the open market from troll farms in rural India, an investigation has found.

A close examination has revealed unusual patterns. A large number of Twitter accounts that followed Biden’s appear to have been created exclusively for that purpose. And a large number of the users are located in small towns in rural India—in places where English-speakers are rare, and from handles run by people who don’t speak English as their first language, nor appear to be genuinely invested in American politics.

A Zenger News investigation reveals that Biden’s increasing social media footprint in India came from the country’s infamous troll farms boosting his candidacy.

Getting caught buying followers is embarrassing, as Taylor Swift can tell you. And Biden’s buying fake followers doesn’t seem as embarrassing as his former running mate, President Barack Obama, buying 14 million fake followers. It’s not illegal, but it does make you wonder if Jack Dorsey is giving old Joe an in-kind donation by not stripping the fake accounts from the Democrat presidential candidate.

If the Twitter CEO can read the minds of conservatives conveying legitimate information, like, I dunno, Hunter Biden’s laptop that has evidence of money-laundering and racketeering and Joe Biden’s alleged knowledge of it, can’t they put their “ones and zeros” working at the San Francisco Twitter farm on this and zap the fakes in record time? Perhaps, instead of suspending the account of the coronavirus expert on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Scott Atlas, they could muster a few minions to evaporate Joe Biden’s fake friends.

Newsweek reports that Biden’s sock puppets got into gear in earnest in August when the general election heated up.

Most “sock puppets,” as they’re called, typically retweet only a few specific accounts in intermittent bursts of high volume. Based on the sample Zenger News examined, it appears that more than 100,000 such accounts joined Biden’s legitimate followers in August.

Of the 105,000 followers in the sample, 31,981—more than 30 percent—were created on August 12 or later.

Of the 62,478 accounts created before 2020, 16.5 percent have tweeted fewer than 10 times. Half of those have not tweeted this year at all.

At this writing, Joe’s still got all his fake Twitter followers, if any of Twitter’s paragons of moral rectitude give a rip.

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Victoria Taft is the host of “The Adult in the Room Podcast With Victoria Taft.” Find it at your favorite podcast outlets. Follow her on Facebook,  Twitter and Parler @VictoriaTaft 

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