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A New Report Shows How Suspicious Elon Musk's Follower Count Is

A new report has shed some pretty interesting light on Elon Musk's Twitt- sorry, X followers.

Elon Musk in the X offices
- / Twitter account of Elon Musk/AFP via Getty Images

Reducing spam bots on the platform formerly known as X has long been a part of Elon's general huffing and puffing, including when he was contemplating buying the hellscape:

If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 21, 2022

Twitter: @elonmusk

Since then, Elon has boasted removing a "vast number of bots":

Also, this is after removal of a vast number of bots

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 28, 2023

Twitter: @elonmusk

Musk became the most followed person on not-Twitter in March, with 153.9 million followers at present. That's ahead of Barack Obama, Justin Bieber, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Rihanna. Suspicious-looking followers on a celebrity account have long been documented, and one report last year estimated that nearly half of Musk's followers were fake — 7% higher than comparable accounts.

Closeup of Elon Musk

The same account estimated that Obama's following was 44% fake.

Chesnot / Getty Images

Now, new data from Mashable and Travis Brown estimated that 42% of Musk's followers — over 65.3 million users — have zero followers. What's more, over 72% of Musk's followers had less than 10 followers on their account.

Closeup of Elon Musk in an armored costume
Gilbert Carrasquillo / GC Images

Similar vibes follow when it comes to how much Musk's followers actually make content: 62.5 million of them have zero tweets, and the majority have less than 10 tweets posted.

Elon Musk raising his arms
Chesnot / Getty Images

More than a quarter of his followers reportedly created their accounts on the day of or after Musk completed his Twitter acquisition last October.

Closeup of Elon Musk
Chesnot / Getty Images

When it comes to what the profiles look like, around 25% have the default X profile picture, and 40% have four or more numbers in their handle.

Closeup of Elon Musk
Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

And when it comes to X Premium, Elon's big attack on the bots, only about 0.3% of his followers subscribe. Of course, it's not easy to detangle the lurkers from the bots here — but sure casts quite the picture, huh?

Closeup of Elon Musk
Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images

Cool! Cool! Cool!