Is Mitt Romney Buying Phony Twitter Followers?

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign may be buying up Twitter followers to pad the former Massachusetts governor’s online presence.

@MittRomney has already attracted more than 100,000 new followers on Saturday, far more than his average 1,000 – 6,000 per day, and the new followers “seem to have major trouble with spelling simple English words, have names that sometimes seem to be random assortments of syllables, and have no (or very few) followers themselves”:

@BarackObama, by contrast, has been growing steadily, adding 16,000 to 30,000 new followers per day:

Former GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich experienced similar Twitter embarrassment in August of 2011, after it was reported that as many as 92 percent of his Twitter followers were fake. In that case, a “former Gingrich staffer has supposedly alleged that he bought his followers.” It’s still unclear what’s happening with Romney’s account.