Hard Numbers

How genuine are those followers on Twitter?

140 million monthly active Twitter users

340 million tweets sent per day

25 million+ followers of Lady Gaga, the current record holder

22 percent of President Obama’s US-based followers who make more than $100,000 a year

30percent of Mitt Romney’s US-based followers who make more than $100,000 a year

$500 amount former ESPN contributor and alleged Internet scammer Sarah Phillips reportedly paid to an Ottawa sports blogger for his Twitter account and its 2,000 followers

$11,100 winning eBay bid for the right to have your Twitter handle on runner Nick Symmonds’s arm during the Olympics

$10-$17 price range to buy 1,000 Twitter followers

$280-$497 price range to buy 50,000 followers

40-70 percent of the average Twitter user’s followers who are identifiable people as opposed to business, spam, or anonymous accounts

8 percent of Newt Gingrich’s followers who could be identified as real people in August 2011, prompting accusations that he bought followers

26 percent of Newt Gingrich’s current followers who have been identified as real people

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The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review.