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Modi now has over 70mn Twitter followers, BJP says he is ‘most followed head of state’ in world

While hashtag #CongratsModiJiFor70M trended on Twitter, many users also shared a 2018 Twitter study that claimed Modi had 60% fake followers.

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday crossed 70 million followers on Twitter, becoming one of the most followed active politicians across the world on social media.

Former US President Barack Obama leads the list with 129.8 million followers, while current President Joe Biden has over 30 million followers.

After PM’s followers crossed the 70 million mark, hashtag #CongratsModiJiFor70M started trending on the social networking site. BJP’s official account shared the news, claiming PM Modi is now “world’s most followed head of state on Twitter”.

Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri also congratulated Modi, saying “a leader who listens, responds & communicates is a refreshing change”, while Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said PM Modi has a direct connection with people, whether “online or offline”.

Several social media users, however, pointed to an old study conducted by the social media site, which claimed that Modi had the highest percentage of fake followers — 60 per cent.

The 2018 study was conducted using Twitter Audit’s algorithm and identified the number of “bot followers” of various public personalities. It had also claimed that former US president Donald Trump, whose account was suspended earlier this year, had 37 per cent fake followers, while Pope Francis had 59 per cent fake followers. The Pope currently has 18.8 million followers.

PM’s Twitter journey

Modi joined Twitter in 2009 when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. Since then, he has been active on social media and often engages with people on the platforms. He follows over 2,300 people, many of them ordinary citizens.

On International Women’s Day in 2018, PM Modi followed over 40 prominent women on Twitter.

An earlier study by the University of Michigan analysed Modi’s presence on Twitter in 2015 and found that a combination of carefully crafted tweets and strategic followbacks to other Twitter accounts helped the PM build a powerful social media brand.

Also read: Not just Modi govt’s tug-of-war with social media, balance of power shifting from users anyway


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