Politics is all about optics. The very few candidates running for public office who have any actual substance don’t end up winning. Usually, the ones who win their elections do so because of how they project themselves and how the media help shape their image. If the media like certain candidates and find them “marketable,” they’ll give them the majority of the coverage, which acts as free advertising for those candidates. Invariably, the candidates who appear the most fake and scripted are the ones who are more likely to win. They usually don’t have any actual support, but because the media give them the most attention, viewers think they don’t have much of a choice and end up voting for one of those “media-preferred” candidates.
Just think of Romney and McCain in the past two elections. They had very little support. Sure, people voted for them, but not because anyone really liked them. People voted for them, because the media had convinced them that they had no other choice. People voted for them, hoping that the other guy whom they didn’t like wouldn’t win. That worked out really well, didn’t it?
In Romney’s case, any time he had a “rally,” his campaign had to pay people to stand behind him and hold fake, “homemade” fan posters. His rallies were very small in reality. But the TV camera never let anyone see the whole crowd. They only showed up close footage to make their viewers think that he had tons of support. Meanwhile, Ron Paul would draw thousands and thousands of people on a regular basis, and the media would pretend he didn’t even exist. Paul was completely unmarketable from the media’s perspective.
Having fake Twitter followers and Facebook friends is the same thing as paying for fake supporters to make yourself appear popular. Hillary’s apparently got over a million fake Twitter followers as reported by the Daily Mail:
An analysis of the pair’s Twitter accounts has revealed that over one million of Clinton’s followers are fake, while only 53% of Biden’s social media fans are real.
Fake Twitter followers are a ‘mix of inactive Twitter users (who signed up but never log on), completely fake users that are created for the sole purpose of following people, and spam bots that are programmatically set up to tweet ads and malicious content,’ according to TwitterAudit co-founder David Caplan.
According to the site, President Barack Obama has almost 40million fake followers compared to 23million real ones, while Michelle Obama is doing much better with 60% of her followers being real.
‘For large accounts (1 million+ followers), the percentage of real followers sometimes tends towards 50%,’ said Caplan.
‘This doesn’t necessarily mean the other 50% are fake. It’s more likely that many users are just inactive or use Twitter to occasionally read tweets. For large accounts, if the score is 60% (real followers) then I’d say that is a pretty good score.’
He then added; ‘Fake followers aren’t inherently bad, they are just a dishonest form of using social media. They can be leveraged to inflate someone’s reputation.
People will most likely follow someone who already has many followers, so buying followers is a way to boost your follower count in the future.
Unfortunately, this is what most people care about. Who’s the most “popular?” Who’s “most likely to win?” Most people won’t vote for the best candidate based on substance. They’ll say things like, “I really like him and agree with pretty much everything he’s said and done for the past 30 years, and he would be a great president. But I can’t vote for him, because he can’t and won’t win.” And we wonder why we’re in the state we’re in now.