Pharyngula

Newt Gingrich has 1,325,842 followers on twitter.

Who cares, you might be asking. The criteria for being popular on twitter are rather different than the criteria for being a competent statesman; if twitter mattered in that way, Ashton Kucher would be president. It’s irrelevant. But Gingrich is unhappy because his vast appeal is unappreciated by the media: “I have six times as many Twitter followers as all the other candidates combined, but it didn’t count because if it counted I’d still be a candidate; since I can’t be a candidate that can’t count.”

Wow. Gingrich believes having lots of twitter followers gives him credibility? That’s pathetic.

But wait, that’s not pathetic. This is pathetic: he bought most of those followers!

About 80 percent of those accounts are inactive or are dummy accounts created by various “follow agencies,” another 10 percent are real people who are part of a network of folks who follow others back and are paying for followers themselves (Newt’s profile just happens to be a part of these networks because he uses them, although he doesn’t follow back), and the remaining 10 percent may, in fact, be real, sentient people who happen to like Newt Gingrich. If you simply scroll through his list of followers you’ll see that most of them have odd usernames and no profile photos, which has to do with the fact that they were mass generated. Pathetic, isn’t it?

That’s just sad.

(Pssst. By the way, to the hundred thousand readers who aren’t my sockpuppets: I’ll get the paychecks to you later. We’re having a little cash flow problem, what with the transition to a new site and all that.)