- Helen Zille has an infestation of fake social media followers and wants to ditch them
- The DA federal council chairperson claims the fake accounts are attempting to 'destroy' her
- Her comments prompted some accusations against the DA from ex-secretary general Godrich Gardee
It turns out that DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille was not far off the mark when she claimed social media was rife with fake accounts.
Briefly.co.za reported that Zille had raised a few eyebrows with claims that the EFF ran a network of these so-called 'bot' accounts:
“A colleague told me that the EFF runs a botnet of around 11,000 fake accounts. If that is true, they would rival Bell Pottinger and it would explain all the orchestrated outrage based on deliberately misinterpreted tweets. Over and out."
While Mzansi will never know the political affiliation of these fake accounts, or if they were motivated by politics at all, Zille has discovered a fair share of her 1.4 million following are indeed bots.
An audit of her social media audience reveals more than 600 000 fake followers, with Zille commenting that:
“Absolutely fascinating. Almost half my 1.4 million followers are bots, which probably accounts for most of the anonymous ones run by political opponents. I’m flattered. They must think I am very influential to put this much effort into trying to destroy me online. They won’t succeed."
Zille promised to invest in a programme to rid of her bot infestation, thanking those who gave advice:
“Thanks to my followers who have explained how I can subscribe to a service to wipe fake accounts off my TL (Twitter timeline). It is expensive but worth it. Our country cannot afford these deliberate digital manipulators seeking to manufacture outrage for nefarious purposes.”
Former Economic Freedom Fighter secretary-general Godrich Gardee clapped back at the situation while making some accusations of his own:
"Those who love Helen Zille created 600k fake accounts to retweet her and the DA, ANC created 7 000 fake accounts to stalk and harass me."
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