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Ping has most organic Twitter followers among presidential bets

Partido Reporma chairman and standard bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has the most number of authentic followers on microblogging site Twitter, according to a random bot analysis and independent monitoring conducted by a Reddit user.

FLASH MOB. Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Panfilo ‘Ping’Lacson (center) and his running mate Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III (right)are left speechless after hundreds of young dancers performed a flashmob to show their support for them on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021 at the LausGroup Event Centre in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Using a sample size of 5,000 accounts out of the 44,155 Lacson followers on his verified personal Twitter account (@iampinglacson), the Reddit user under the found the senator has the most organic following among four presidential aspirants.

The Reddit user applied free-to-use online digital tools to also analyze the social media presence of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, Manila Mayor Francsiso “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, and Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on the microblogging platform.

The selection process was randomized using SurveyMonkey and Tweepy to pull and organize data from the Twitter application program interface. Botometer, meanwhile, was the software program applied to weed out the bots from the real accounts.

“Botometer uses Complete Automation Probability (CAP) to visualize and analyze account behavior. To put it simply, this is the variable they use to determine a ‘bot score,’” the Reddit user using the codename PancitLucban explained in his report.

In his analysis, the Reddit user set a 90-percent CAP, which yielded a 9.08-percent Twitter bot follower result for Lacson and 2.77-percent if the CAP was set at 95-percent. This means a significant majority of his followers are organic.

Results for the three other presidential aspirants were varied. Robredo is on Twitter (@lenirobredo) with 628.3K followers, Moreno (@IskoMoreno) with 934.4K followers, while Marcos, Jr. (@bongbongmarcos) has 957.9K followers.

Of the three, Moreno has the most number of “sleeper” followers or bots, according to the analyst. He registered a 10.94-percent bot score at 90-percent CAP and 23.88-percent of bots at 95-percent CAP.

As for Marcos, the bots working for him are “more sophisticated” and are able to mimic “human-like” behavior upon deeper evaluation. He has a 17.56-percent bot score at 90-percent CAP and 7.47-percent at 95-percent CAP.

PancitLucban said Marcos, Jr. and Robredo are “almost equal” in terms of having fake followers based on his assessment. The vice president, however, has more organic followers between the two but majority of them are private accounts.

At least 11.75-percent of bots are following Robredo at 90-percent CAP and 4.93-percent at 95-percent CAP.

“Everything used in the study is open source so there’s a lot of potential. No funds needed, just effort by the right people,” the Reddit user said.

Twitter analytics for two other presidential aspirants – Senator Manny Pacquiao and labor leader Leody de Guzman – are not yet available.

Pacquiao has the most followers on Twitter among all presidential bets at 2.6 million boosted by his worldwide celebrity status as a boxing icon. De Guzman, meanwhile, has 19.4K followers although his account is yet to be verified with the check mark symbol.

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