Senator John McCain is learning the hard way that follows do not equal endorsements.
Around noon on Monday, McCain tweeted a call to action requesting help from his audience. “We’re only 74 Twitter followers away from 3M - spread the word & help us reach this big milestone,” he tweeted. Doing the math, that means he was sitting pretty with 2,999,926 followers at the time. At the moment, he has 2,993,757 followers and the number is rapidly declining as people see an opportunity to tell McCain what they think of him.
Based on the comments on McCain’s tweet, people are upset that the Senator followed his party in lockstep to pass a tax bill just before 2:00am on Saturday morning that none of them had read. The tweet is getting thoroughly ratioed, and people are spreading the word.
In order to see the exact number of followers McCain has, you’ll have to hover over his “followers” tab on the site. At the moment, the number continues to drop, but some people on Twitter have pointed out that he’s getting a lot of rapid love from bots at the same time. It’s unclear when exactly the bots started following McCain, but it wouldn’t be anything new. President Trump is fond of bragging about the size of his social media following, but at least one study has found that nearly half of his followers are bots. Throw in the fact that many of Trump’s followers don’t support him, they just know that following him is the only way to see his “official statements,” and it’s clear that social media isn’t a great barometer for gauging popularity.
Remember, just because people are citing his spineless response to the tax bill as their motivation for unfollowing McCain, he’s been a party-line Republican for as long as he’s been around. There are many reasons to unfollow McCain, pick one or the bots might win.