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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the dubious distinction of having the largest number of fake Twitter followers, ahead of US President Donald Trump, among some of the leading personalities of the world named in a list doing the rounds on social media.

Moreover, the number of his fake followers far outnumber the genuine ones: 24,799,527 fake followers against 16,191,426 real ones, according to ‘TwitterAudit’ that claims to identify whether followers of an individual are fake or genuine.

It would perhaps be pertinent to add that among the ‘genuine followers’ of the PM are a large number who regularly troll people who say anything unpalatable to BJP or Hindutva adherents, attacking them with violent and vulgar posts. PM Modi, as fake news buster Alt News has regularly pointed out, also follows a number of them.

On its website, TwitterAudit, which declares it has been exposing Twitter frauds since 2012, explains how it does its ‘audit’: “Each audit takes a sample of up to 5000 (or more, if you subscribe to Pro) Twitter followers for a user and calculates a score for each follower. This score is based on number of tweets, date of the last tweet, and ratio of followers to friends. We use these scores to determine whether any given user is real or fake. Of course, this scoring method is not perfect but it is a good way to tell if someone with lots of followers is likely to have increased their follower count by inorganic, fraudulent, or dishonest means.”

The list that has evoked a huge response on Twitter was actually prepared three weeks ago, on February 21, is an infographic prepared by Alex Kliment, director of Eurasia Group. The infographic, as determined by TwitterAudit, reveals that numbers of followers related to the accounts of some of the worlds’ top leaders are fake.

It lists Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump as well as Pope Francis — top three of the world’s most-followed leaders on Twitter.

While a 2017 blog on twiplomacy.com had rated Narendra Modi as the third-most followed global leader on Twitter with 30,058, 659 followers, said news portal News Laundry, this infographic reveals that Modi has the highest number of fake followers. Of the users following @narendramodi, 60 per cent are fake, the infographic reveals.

Of those following Pope Francis, 59 per cent are fake and 37 per cent of Trump’s followers are fake.

The infographic and the numbers were noticed by social media users only now, but it has started getting reactions with many social media users and members of Congress party taking a jibe at PM Modi.

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