PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has a big following on social media that includes 40,000 followers on Twitter.
The question is: are all of them real?
Recently, some of Ducey's twitter followers have been called out as bot accounts. A quick reverse Google search proved that some of Ducey's followers were not actually real. None of them even local.
"This would honestly be the first that I've seen for a local election, definitely here in Arizona," said Cincent Orlek, president of Social Media Club Phoenix.
A tweet sent by Hank Stephenson with the Tucson Star spreading rather fast. A thread with several tweets calling out Ducey supporters on Twitter found to be bots.
In other words, fake.
One example is Fredric Jones, whose Twitter bio describes him as a proud Republican, NAU alum, and a dirt bike enthusiast. A reverse Google image search of Jones' "photo" shows the man featured is actually called Harry Stewart. He was wanted by sheriffs in Clarendon County, South Carolina for breaking into a car, and possessing stolen property. Stewart has since been arrested.
Another example is Quentin Jost, whose Twitter profile describes him as a Conservative millennial and a sushi chef. A reverse Google image search reveals that the photo is actually that of Benedict Dellot, a man who works for RSA, an organization in the United Kingdom.
Dellot has responded on Twitter.
In other news, I’m now a motorcycle-riding, sushi-eating, Arizona-loving supporter of some governor I’ve never heard of. Nice. https://t.co/Dkwn27g1bN— Benedict Dellot (@BenedictDel) June 19, 2018
"Typically, what they would do with the algorithm is set it to specifically respond based on a specific account or a specific keyword or hashtags," said Orleck.
The algorithm then creates responses directly aimed tweets containing such tweets supporting or tweets directly from Ducey himself.
"They should absolutely be aware," said Orleck.
FOX 10 has reached out to Gov. Ducey's office for a response.