Former staffer says Gingrich pays for fake Twitter followers; campaign says ‘untrue’

C.J. Ciaramella Contributor
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According to a former aide, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich pays for his impressive gaggle of Twitter followers — a claim the campaign denies.

An anonymous former staffer spilled the beans to Gawker, saying the Gingrich campaign pays outside companies to generate Twitter followers. (RELATED: Gingrich on debt deal: ‘Not a solution to America’s jobs and debt crisis)

“Newt employs a variety of agencies whose sole purpose is to procure Twitter followers for people who are shallow/insecure/unpopular enough to pay for them,” the staffer wrote.” As you might guess, Newt is most decidedly one of the people to which these agencies cater.”

The former staffer said about 80 percent of Gingrich’s more than 1.3 million Twitter followers are inactive or dummy accounts generated by agencies.

“If you simply scroll through his list of followers you’ll see that most of them have odd usernames and no profile photos, which has to do with the fact that they were mass generated,” the staffer continued. “Pathetic, isn’t it?”

Gingrich’s campaign has vigorously denied the allegations. Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond responded, fittingly, with a tweet: “@Gawker Gaffes. Hoodwinks readers. Insults 1.3 million .@newtgingrich .@twitter followers. Report is #rude #unfounded & #erroneous.”

Gingrich has the most Twitter followers of any of the GOP presidential hopefuls. Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann both have less than 100,000 followers.