What is up with actor Taye Diggs’s out-of-control Twitter-following sprees?


A screenshot from Taye Diggs’ Twitter, as of May 16.

Taye Diggs is an actor, children’s book author, and former half of a much-mourned celebrity marriage. He is also, for reasons unknown, a prolific Twitter-follower. As of this writing, he follows 30,476 people. Taye Diggs follows more people on Twitter than live in my hometown.

What, exactly, could motivate this kind of profligate Twitter use? We tried asking Diggs’s publicist but she did not, alas, respond. (Perhaps she doesn’t quite get it, herself.) The people Diggs follows are a very random lot: His latest additions, as of this writing, included a youth basketball team in Indiana, an account that aggregates funny Vines, and a Cosmo intern who describes herself as a “Northwestern wildkitty.” Diggs also follows a ton of journalists — everyone from AP’s Oklahoma City sportswriter to a reporter at National Journal’s global security newswire.

Some of those people follow Diggs already, or have tweeted at him or about his shows. But many also don’t … like this Episcopalian blogger. Or Rusty Payne, the mayor of McLean. (For what it’s worth, Diggs lives in L.A.)

That lack of a clear causal relationship — if you follow Taye Diggs, he will follow you back — seems to rule out the likelihood that he’s using a bot or plug-in. But if Diggs is manually choosing to follow all those people, what the heck do they have in common? A large, random sampling of Diggs’ recent follows turned up only one commonality: They’d recently tweeted about basketball, baseball or football. Incidentally, those are pretty much the only subjects Diggs tweets about himself.

Of course, this doesn’t explain why Diggs follows this small-time “progressive country” band, or this in-home art therapist in Fort Lauderdale. But in the absence of a comprehensive theory, we can only add this to our running list of Internet mysteries and echo the wishes of Buzzfeed’s Samir Mezrahi.

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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