SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — New Twitter CEO Elon Musk has said he plans to crack down on spam accounts on the platform. That could have an impact on sports teams that have millions of “fake” Twitter followers, particularly the Golden State Warriors.
According to a study conducted by Gambling.com, the Warriors have approximately 3,581,000 “fake followers.” That makes up 45.1 percent of their follower count.
The study took all of California’s professional sports teams in the “Big 4” leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) and used a tool created by SparkToro to determine how many of their Twitter followers were fake. The tool takes a sample of 2,000 random followers and runs diagnostics to see how many are bots, spam accounts, or other non-real users.
Of the 15 teams studied, the Los Angeles Lakers had the largest follower count, and they stand to lose the most followers if Musk does indeed disable fake accounts. The study estimated that the Lakers have more than 5 million fake accounts, making up 45.4% of their total followers.
A Bay Area team topped the study’s ranking of percentage of followers that are fake. Nearly half of the San Jose Sharks’ followers (48.9%) are not real, according to the research. That number is far higher than that of the lowest team on the list, the Los Angeles Chargers, who have 36.7% fake followers.
The San Francisco 49ers stand to lose the fourth-most followers (1,306,000) if Twitter is purged of fake accounts, the study said. The San Francisco Giants’ follower count would drop by 1.028 million, and the Oakland A’s would lose 353,000.