A while ago i wrote:
I think the dirty little secret of google+ and twitter, etc. is that a huge number (the majority?) of accounts are actually created by bots for a variety of reasons. Of course no site wants to admit this because they love the headlines that make it look like huge numbers of people are joining. Maybe google is just deleting some of them.
Here's a peak at the shady underbelly:
It discusses how a politician has paid for over 800,000 fake twitter accounts to make it look like he is popular.
From the article you linked:
While it would be impossible to survey all of Gingrich's followers, a cursory glance immediately turned up a few accounts that featured odd names, no personal information, no followers, no posts, and a small follow list.
Yeah, and a cursory glance of my followers will immediately turn up the same thing, and I have less than 40 followers
. Imagine how many of these strange bots/accounts I would have if I had over a million followers. You don't have to pay for bots to follow you on twitter. For reasons I can't comprehend, they do it by themselves.
I'm also not sure if this affects my followers, but I've also attempted to prune my follower list by blocking/reporting for spam the accounts I think are spammers/bots.
You've got a public figure who the media love to make look bad, you've got an anonymous source with information that makes him look bad, and you've got Gawker not investigating whether or not it is true but essentially reporting it as fact. I'm not saying it's not true. I'm just saying that the article is basically "he said/he said, we glanced at but didn't really investigate" with very little journalistic integrity.
I wouldn't be surprised if it was true, but in my opinion that article does not remove all reasonable doubt. (In other words, I also wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't true.)