Tron founder Justin Sun is one of the crypto community’s most active Twitter users and recently celebrated surpassing 1,000,000 followers. In a tweet from his company’s main account, TRON Foundation (@Tronfoundation), the founder was lauded as being the first person within the blockchain industry to exceed 1 million personal followers.
However, Geoff Golberg, a researcher who investigates bot activity on Twitter, discovered that as many as 20,000 of his newest followers are most likely fake. The majority of the accounts were created in the past few weeks, have no followers and exhibit bot-like behavior by all retweeting the same post.
The account names also end in sets of eight random numbers and have generic sounding names – a trait common of accounts created by an automated process. Not only did Sun recently boast about having more followers than Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin but also posted a rather hypocritical tweet asking users to report a fake account imitating the Tron Foundation.
30% Fake Followers?
Further analysis conducted by blockchain research site Trustnodes, utilizing Twitter audit site SparkToro, found that 48 percent of his follower’s accounts were created in the past 90 days. By comparison, Trustnodes own Twitter account has only two percent of followers created in the past 90 days.
Trustnodes was not the only company to investigate Sun’s fake followers. Crypto Engineering, a cryptocurrency trading and research firm, alleged that 30.6 percent of Sun’s followers are fake in a response to the original @Tronfoundation tweet. Its data defines fake accounts as those “that are unreachable and will not see the account’s tweets (either because they’re spam, bots, propaganda etc. or because they’re no longer active on Twitter.”
Fake Accounts Rife on Twitter
However, it’s unlikely that the fake accounts were created or purchased by Sun or The Tron Foundation for the purpose of faking popularity. Fake accounts are so rife on Twitter that many popular accounts have an average of 41 percent fake followers. This means that while Justin Sun may not have one million genuine followers, he’s actually not doing too bad in the bot department.
Despite benefiting from one of the most active dApp development platforms in the blockchain industry, Tron’s TRX token recently dropped out of the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap. It was taken over by blockchain development firm Cardano’s ADA token, which moved into the tenth position with a $1.56 billion market cap. TRX is now trading at $0.023 with a market cap of just over $1.54 billion.