Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have the most 'fake followers' on Twitter

A new study has shown Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are among the clubs with the most 'fake followers' on Twitter.

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 2:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 2:12 pm
Liverpool fans pictured at Anfield. Picture by Getty Images
Liverpool fans pictured at Anfield. Picture by Getty Images

According to Media Chain in the report Navigating the Next Generation Fan: How Football is Social, just over one third (36 per cent) of internet users are Premier League fans and in today’s current climate, much of their interaction is through social media.

Of course, Twitter was perhaps the first social media platform to make it big in football; its reactive nature suiting the fast-paced, dramatic world of the beautiful game to a tee.

However, research has found that several factors, such as the rise in fake news, spam, bots and propaganda, across social media channels has seen Twitter’s dominance in the world of football decline in recent months.

Livefootballtickets.com conducted an experiment to find out the average number of fake followers found per the Twitter account of current Premier League teams, to identify which account is the most susceptible to inauthentic followers. Fake followers were classed as accounts that are unreachable, either because they’re spam, bots, propaganda, or because they’re no longer active on Twitter.

To achieve this, Livefootballtickets inserted the Twitter handle of each team into the Fake Followers Audit tool on SparkToro (created by Moz founder, Rand Fishkin) to analyse the results.

Livefootballtickets discovered an average 43.1 per cent of accounts/individuals that follow Liverpool are fake – the highest total of all Premier League teams analysed. They were closely followed by Manchester United (42%) and Arsenal F.C. (40.5%).

Other Premier League teams with a high infiltration of fake followers include Brighton & Hove Albion (38.5%), Huddersfield Town (37%), Chelsea (36.7%), Manchester City (36.4%) and Tottenham (36.3%).

Wolverhampton Wanderers were found to have the lowest average number of fake followers – at 27.9 per cent. They were just below Newcastle United (29.1%), Southampton (29.6%) and Leicester City (29.7%).

Stefan Balkenende, a spokesperson from Livefootballtickets.com said: “With the world like it is today, it’s no wonder we are beginning to approach social media in a cautious manner.

"My advice to footie fans is this: it’s right to think smart about social media, our experiment proves it, but don’t let it make you feel like you can’t engage with your team and fellow fans on platforms like Twitter. Social media is a fantastic space to stay informed on all things football; be it scores, transfers or the sackings of your favourite players and managers!

"If you are concerned about the activity you are exposed to, check your settings and privacy section. Taking Twitter as an example, you can mute people who don’t have a default profile photo, who haven’t confirmed their email and their phone number. This won’t hide all inauthentic accounts, but it might help slim down the chances of coming across suspect activity.”

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