By Ciara Linnane
Elon Musk would lose about 13.5 million Twitter followers if he takes control of the social-media platform and pushes through his plan to get rid of most fake accounts, according to data crunched by CodeClan, a Scottish digital skills academy.
The Tesla Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +7.48% and SpaceX CEO on Tuesday gave up a legal battle and agreed to pay $44 billion, at the cannabis-joke-derived price of $54.20 a share , to take over company. Musk has said he wants less than 5% of Twitter accounts to be spam.
But Musk’s loss of followers would pale in comparison with that of pop star Justin Bieber, who would lose 27.6 million of his 114.2 million followers, according to the data.
Britney Spears would lose the highest percentage of followers out of the top 20, with some 48% of her 55.8 million followers being classified as fakes.
Former President Barack Obama would lose 19.3 million of his 131.9 million followers, the data show.
Among other high-profile names, Katy Perry has about 23.3 million fakes among her 108.9 million followers, or 21.4% of her total; Rihanna has about 26.5 million fakes, or 24.9% of her 106.5 million followers; Lady Gaga has 10.9 million fakes in her roster of 84.7 million followers, for 12.9% of the total; Kim Kardashian has about 14 million fakes, or 19.4% of her 72.4 million followers; and Ellen DeGeneres has about 24.4 million fakes, equal to 31.5% of her 77.5 million followers.
In the world of politics, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has about 17.5 million fakes among his 78.8 million followers, equal to 22.2% of the total.
The CNN Breaking News account on Twitter has about 7.7 million fakes, or 12.2% of its 63.1 million followers. Bill Gates has about 14.3 million fakes, or 24.2% of his 58.9 million followers. And NASA has some 14.7 million fakes, or 26.8% of its 57.1 million followers.
Twitter shares were down 0.4% Wednesday, while Tesla was down 4%.
Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. /zigman2/quotes/229933747/composite DWAC -2.85% , the special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, buying the company behind former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social social-media company, was up 1.6% after falling more than 5% Tuesday in the wake of the news about Twitter’s suit against Musk.
The SPAC has plunged 66% to date in 2022, while the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +2.85% has fallen 21%.