A fake screenshot intended to discredit the Project Veritas CNN leaks has led to Twitter users discovering that, in reality, over half of the network’s followers are likely fake.
The phony image purports to represent a quote from Arthur Brice, Executive Editor of CNN, saying, “Yes. Go you need to buy automatic retweets so it adds a level of social acceptance, and obviously buy followers every month so you look like your popularity is growing and thus, they will believe what you say.”
While Brice was indeed featured in the short video of James O’Keefe explaining “CNN Leaks: Part I”, this supposed quote was found nowhere in the presentation, the text format doesn’t match that of the Project Veritas style, and the “Go” typo would also be out of character for Veritas.
It’s unknown whether the image was concocted by dishonest CNN trolls or planted by propagandists seeking to discredit the thousands of citizen journalists, but it has already circulated heavily through social media.
Despite the inauthentic nature of the quote, it has lead to an interesting discovery.
An audit of CNN’s Twitter account reveals that their most recent rating reflected an abysmal 46% real followers, 54% fake.
It should be noted that this audit reflects information from four years ago, when CNN had just over 30 million followers; they now have 32 million followers.
An analysis of recent CNN tweets show that they rarely garner more than 1,000 retweets or 2,000 likes, with the average post receiving less than 500 retweets – and some as low as 25 retweets.
In contrast, President Donald Trump, who currently has 25.7 million followers and an audit rating of 73% real followers, regularly eclipses 25,000 retweets and 100,000 likes – sometimes breaking the 300,000 mark for likes.
Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson, with a mere 512,000 followers, does traffic of which CNN can only dream – while poking fun at CNN.
Looks like CNN is going to have a bad day tomorrow. https://t.co/ICDCqHg5Cl
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) February 22, 2017
A related interesting note regards CNN anchor, Chris Cuomo, who currently has 1.19 million followers.
Twitter users ran audits on his account, as of midday February 23, and returned a score of 59% real followers out of 1.19 million – of which they made him well aware.
— Fitzillo 🇺🇸 (@Fitzillo) February 23, 2017
Just hours later, Cuomo’s score was mysteriously upgraded to 96% – despite almost no change in the number of total followers.
James O’Keefe and Project Veritas have released nearly 120 hours of audio from inside CNN, and they need your help to comb through it. Learn more HERE.