Back in the early 2010s, when social media platforms were booming, everyone was desperate for followers. The possibility of becoming internet-famous or being one with the current times – an “influencer” suddenly had tons of perks. Twitter was (and still is) one of the social media platforms that could make you look important, credible, and seen.
Of course, it didn’t take long before people came up with quick and easy ways to access this new kind of fame – by purchasing fake accounts. A growing following was an open gateway to sponsorships, endorsements, and discount codes. People could see the appeal of a career on social media, and everyone wanted a piece of the pie. Sadly, very few people were willing to put time into the natural growth of their audiences. So when an offer to buy fake followers came up, it seemed like a pretty good idea at the time.
Nowadays, social media platforms have advanced, and possessing a Twitter following consistent with fake accounts is no longer enough to get you the sweet subscription, affiliate link, and discount codes. Not to mention, the active obtaining of ghost followers has been deemed illegal by the US Federal Trade Commission in 2021. However, people are still trapped by bots, fake followers, and scam accounts. So how do you remove fake followers on Twitter?
If you have dipped your toe into fake account purchasing, or you’re simply followed by a lot of fake accounts you couldn’t bat an eye for, this article can help you get rid of these annoying 21st-century social media pests.
- What are Twitter Ghost (or Fake) Followers?
- Why Get Rid of Fake & Ghost Followers on Twitter?
- How to Remove Fake Followers on Twitter?
- Why Buying Fake Followers is a Bad Idea?
- Before You Head Out…
What are Twitter Ghost (or Fake) Followers?
Fake followers on Twitter are commonly referred to as ghost followers. The idea is that no active user is standing behind the created profile, similar to how a ghost is an image of someone who is no longer among us.
These accounts can be bots, spam accounts, propaganda, silent users, and unreal users. Sometimes fake accounts are created to offer you fraudulent affiliate partnerships, or sometimes they can be stalkers with no posts and bizarre profile pictures that just smell fishy from miles away.
A fake account can be created purely to add to your follower count. Other times, however, fake accounts can be carefully crafted as part of evil plot execution. You can expect random texting and spam from these fakers, and there’s no point in tolerating this behavior. Whatever the type, I’d be more than happy to share my secret to weeding out the fakes. In the section below, you can learn all about how to get rid of fake followers on Twitter.
Why Get Rid of Fake & Ghost Followers on Twitter?
Before we jump to the guide, I’m sure many of you are wondering, “what’s so bad about having fake followers?” Allow me to give you several legitimate answers to this question:
Fake Followers Won’t Get You Famous
Social media swifts with the times. The algorithm behind applications like Twitter and Instagram is becoming more advanced each day. As a result, obtaining a crazy amount of followers is no longer enough to prove your account has an active audience. If you’re one to follow the analytics behind your Twitter account closely, you’ll know those fake or inactive profiles won’t be contributing to the organic interactions on your profile.
Spam Accounts Can Be Bad for Mental Health
Spam and ghost accounts can give you an unhealthy ego boost. You can easily get carried away and forget that they are, in fact, fake. This false sense of importance can only make you feel like your self-worth is defined by the numbers on a social media platform. This obsession can have a negative impact on your mental health. If you can’t bring yourself to get rid of fake Twitter followers, ask a friend to do it for you.
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Say Goodbye to Loyal Followers
A lot of people have zero-tolerance towards fake Twitter bots. You may risk spamming your real followers when you agree to add fake followers to your audience. Your real Twitter followers won’t be thrilled by the advertising attention, and it only takes them a second to unfollow you and remove you from their feed.
Don’t Risk a Bad Name For Yourself
Believe me, I couldn’t care less what people say behind my back – and you shouldn’t either. But social media somehow tends to bring out the worst in people. People on the Internet can say nasty things. They feel protected sitting behind their laptops, and people online can be rude and horrible and call you a “fraud” or a “fake.” Save yourself the stress and just remove those ghost accounts! Believe me, I couldn’t care less what people say behind my back – and you shouldn’t either.
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I’m sure not all of you out there have purposely acquired fake followers. Sometimes it just happens. But in case you have, you should know that the FTC can enforce sanctions on offenders who have violated their rules and regulations. It’s best just to remove the fakes altogether.
How to Remove Fake Followers on Twitter?
There’s more to removing your Twitter followers than you might think. Sure, if you have some free time, you can scroll through your list of followers, quickly scan the odd profiles and block them individually.
If you’re wondering how to unveil the fake users from those of flesh and blood, here are some tips:
- Any users with just a few followers but following thousands of people are most likely fake.
- Low to no engagement on their profile – usually empty feeds are a sign of a ghost Twitter account.
- Ultra random content on their feed, mostly spam, should be a red flag for you.
- Their Twitter handles make no sense, feature a lot of numbers, or some kind of gibberish.
- They lack a profile picture or have a creepy looking-one.
Removing users one by one from your followers list won’t prevent them from following you again, but at least you’ll be glad to hear they won’t get notified for being removed. If you want to go through your list of Twitter followers and remove the fakes one by one.
To remove a follower follow these steps:
Step 1: Go to your profile and click Followers.
Step 2: Press the three dot icon right next to the username , and select “ Remove this follower”.
Step 3: You’ll be prompted by a message informing you that the user will be removed from your followers list and won’t get notified about this change. However, they will be able to follow you again in the future.
Step 4: Press the red Remove button and you’re sorted.
Unfollowing People Through Your Desktop
We have all made the mistake of following some shady Twitter accounts. There was a time when “follow for a follow” was a thing, and people would jump on the opportunity to follow anyone without batting an eye. Sadly, most profile users turned out to be fakes with tons of spam on their profiles. If you’d like to learn how to remove them from your feed, follow these steps:
Step 1: A quick way you can unfollow an annoying fake or bot is to go to a recent comment they left on your Tweet.
Step 2: Hover your mouse over their name.
Step 3: Click the Following button. This will unfollow them instantly.
Step 1: Another way you can do this if you have more than one account pestering you is through your profile. Click on Following on your home page/profile page.
Step 2: Hover over any account name on your list and you’ll see it change from following to unfollow.
Step 3: Click the button to unfollow the account.
Unfollowing Fake Accounts Through Your Android Device
Step 1: Find your way to a Tweet from the account you’d like to get rid of.
Step 2: Tap on the arrow icon at the top of the Tweet.
Step 3: Tap Unfollow from the selection menu.
Step 1: Alternatively, to unfollow them from your list of followers, at the top menu, you’ll see a navigation menu icon or your profile icon. Tap on it.
Step 2: Next, tap Profile, and then Following, right at the top of you profile.
Step 3: Tap the checked following icon , right next to the account you wish to unfollow you forever.
Step 4: Finally, tap “yes” to confirm.
Unfollowing Fake Account Through Your Apple Device
Step 1: A quick way to do this is to navigate to a recent Tweet from the account you’d like to unfollow.
Step 2: Tap on the arrow icon at the top of the Tweet.
Step 3: Tap Unfollow from the selection menu.
Step 1: You could unfollow them from your followers list. Just tap on your profile icon from the top menu.
Step 2: Next, tap on Following, from the top of your profile.
Step 3: Once more, tap the Following icon next to the account you’d like to unfollow.
Step 4: Tap Unfollow to confirm. Voilá!
That’s it! You’re now ready to remove those nasty parasites from your Twitter account!
That was exhausting, wasn’t it!
Of course, these methods can eat up a lot of your time, especially if you have a considerable following. Not to mention you’ll have to do it periodically to keep up the excellent follower hygiene. So how can you save some of your very precious time?
Useful Tools To Help Remove Followers on Twitter
Instead of doing it manually, you can get help from third-party sites that automatically scan your account for ghosts and get rid of them. The best advice I can give you is to combine two or three of these applications if you want to maximize your results.
Twitter Audit is an excellent, easy-to-use site that pretty much does the cleaning up for you. All you have to do is log in as you would on Twitter, and you’re all set to Marie Kondo your Twitter account. Twitter Audit not only cleans up after fake followers, but it can also block or mute followers on your behalf, so you have control and fluidity when using this software. Depending on the number of fakes you want to get rid of, you can also decide to pay a subscription and increase the amount.
Botometer is the birth child project of Indiana University’s Network Science Institute and Observatory on Social Media. It’s a simple software that checks your Twitter activity and creates a score based on bot-like activity associated with your Twitter account. It removes bots for you, too, so don’t worry.
You get the idea – tons of websites and applications out there can offer this service.
But what happens if you have tons of fake followers and too little time to get rid of them?
Unfortunately, there is little to be done. You can ask a friend for help or revert to extremes. Consider how important Twitter actually is for you. Do you think you can start from scratch and grow your audience organically once again? It might seem drastic and annoying, but sometimes deleting your account is the best thing you can do.
If you want to take your legitimate audience with you, you can always announce your reallocation to your followers. The ones who are there for the great content you produce will make an effort to migrate with you. Just give yourself around a week from the first announcement to make the transition easier. With several posts, you might be able to ship most of your followers to your brand new Twitter account.
Removing followers from Instagram can be a little different. If you want to learn how to get rid of fake followers on Instagram, follow our short guide, and they’ll be gone before you know it!
Why Buying Fake Followers is a Bad Idea?
It may seem enticing when an offer approaches, but buying fake followers can hurt your social media account in the long run. Here is why.
Let’s say that a great, authentic brand is reviewing whether or not to approach you for a sponsorship. They take a look at your follower count, see that 5 or 6 digit number, and think, okay, they must have a good following.
If the brand has any idea whatsoever about spam accounts and Twitter reach manipulation, they’ll browse through those followers to check the legitimacy of your audience. If you’re followed by tons of bots and fake accounts, it’s pretty easy to spot, and you might lose your potential sponsorship.
But let’s say they don’t look at your followers and approach you with an offer anyway. They hope to get 40 people signed up for their service and think, sure, this person has 15 000 followers. Completely doable! But do you think you’ll be able to deliver if a good 50 percent of your audience is non-existent? You may be taking a considerable risk and disappointing the brand.
Not to mention phony followers may have the tendency to tweet comments full of spam, and your loyal followers might get sick of seeing these. A potential brand can easily spot spam comments and decide against giving you an offer. Get into the habit of deleting these comments and keep your account clean.
It’s also worth mentioning you’re spending real money on this “service” which only turns to stab you in the back. You’re actually at a loss, and you have wasted more money than you have earned.
Before You Head Out…
Now that you have finally achieved a bot-free feed, you can continue your influencer life. Go on, take a deep breath. Relax.
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