Report: Third of Burnley FC's Twitter followers are fake

A third of Burnley Football Club's Twitter followers are fake according to a new report, which also shows that sports news is the most popular content amongst users of the social media website.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 9:41 am
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 3:41 pm
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With over a third of internet-users identified as sports fans, a 2019 report by Media Chain titled Navigating the Next Generation Fan: How Football is Social has shown that 44% of fans check Twitter for sports new at least once a day, leading to a proliferation of fake accounts, spam, bots, and biased propaganda.

Using SparkToro’s Fake Followers Audit tool, Ticketgum.com has also conducted an experiment to find out which Premier League Twitter accounts have the most fake followers - defined as accounts which are unreachable. The results show that Liverpool have the highest proportion of fake followers with 41.1% while Sheffield United have the smallest at 20.9%. Burnley are safely ensconced in mid-table with 32.6%

And it isn’t just fake followers which fans need to be aware of in the modern world of online football fandom as, according to COPA90’s The Modern Football Fan 2.0 report, Twitter users are observing how quickly, and often, online conversation devolves into abuse. Over half of users have seen aggressive or threatening behaviour, 42% have witnessed racism, 28% homophobia, 26% sexism, and 25% xenophobia.

“On social media, think smart – and be proactive," explained a spokesperson from Ticketgum. "If you are concerned, check your settings and privacy section. For example, on Twitter, you can mute people who don’t have a default profile photo or who haven’t confirmed their email or phone number.

"This won’t hide all inauthentic accounts, but it will help slim the chance of seeing suspect activity. You can also report – and block – users who facilitate abuse.”