Brace yourself for some bad news. Justin Bieber doesn’t actually have 3.6 million Twitter followers—he’s faking it.
At least, that’s the claim from social media marketing company uSocial. The Australian firm says it has “substantial evidence” that many celebrities—including Bieber, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Martha Stewart, and even Barack Obama—are artificially increasing their number of followers. No word on how uSocial gathered this information—thanks to the time difference, a rep wasn’t available for comment—but the company’s press release states that up to 25 of the top 100 users on Twitter have inaccurate follower numbers. Such injustice.
Whether or not this is true (and if it were, would anyone actually be upset?), it’s another interesting declaration from uSocial, which has a habit of making headlines thanks to ridiculous claims. Known for selling Twitter followers and Digg votes ($105-$200 kick-starts a submission, ensuring 100-250 votes), uSocial last year asserted that it helped Michael Jackson’s family purchase 25,000 followers, boasted about receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Digg, and counted the Mormon Church as a client. The Church later said they had never worked with uSocial.
We may never know if Gaga and Obama are faking it, but at least we can count on uSocial to keep dishing out PR stunts.