Newt Bought His Twitter Following: Ex-Staffer

Most of Gingrich's 1.3M followers are fake, former staffer says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Maryland GOP 21st Annual Red, White, and Blue Dinner, Thursday, June 23, 2011, in Linthicum, Maryland.   (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

(Newser) – Newt Gingrich might be way behind in the GOP polls, but he's kicking butt on Twitter—with 1.3 million followers to the fewer than 70,000 Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann each claim. A former staffer says the reason for the discrepancy is simple: The Gingrich campaign has hired agencies to inflate his follower count by creating huge numbers of fake accounts.

"Newt employs a variety of agencies whose sole purpose is to procure Twitter followers for people who are shallow/insecure/unpopular enough to pay for them. As you might guess, Newt is most decidedly one of the people to which these agencies cater," the former staffer tells Gawker, estimating that just 10% of Gingrich's followers are genuine. The Gingrich campaign begs to differ, saying that its candidate has so many followers because he manages his Twitter feed himself and has tweeted an average of three times a day since joining the site 29 months ago.

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