The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

How we tracked right-wing influencers’ audience numbers

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To determine the audience growth of influencers on right-wing social media platforms, The Washington Post analyzed previously published counts of followers or subscribers for 47 right-wing, QAnon and anti-vaccine influencers across the alt-tech platforms Telegram, Rumble, Gettr and Gab.

Many of those influencers have been banned from mainstream platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; some have voluntarily stopped posting on mainstream platforms, and some still post there.

Pro-Trump influencers flocked to alternative social networks. Their follower counts stalled soon after.

To find the historical number of followers, The Post accessed archived copies of profile pages maintained by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Not all of the influencers had accounts on all of the platforms, and data was not always archived consistently; data in the Wayback Machine is usually saved when specifically requested by a user, so follower counts may be archived for several days in a row, then not again for weeks or even a few months. All counts were updated in January 2022 by The Post.

The Post was unable to determine from the data the total number of followers for any of the influencers since it was impossible to know when individuals had followed an account on multiple platforms or had used multiple accounts on a single platform to follow an influencer. Some followers could be bots.

Gettr’s website prominently displays the sum of users’ Twitter follower counts and their count of followers on Gettr. We analyzed only their Gettr follower count.

The analyzed accounts were:

Ali Alexander, Shiva Ayyadurai, Ty and Charlene Bollinger, Dan Bongino, Kelly Brogan, Rashid Buttar, Patrick Byrne, Erin Elizabeth, Michael Flynn, Rudolph W. Giuliani, Sebastian Gorka, Paul A. Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Rizza Islam, Kevin Jenkins, Sayer Ji, Alex Jones, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Charlie Kirk, Mike Lindell, Laura Loomer, Joseph Mercola, Christiane Northrup, Devin Nunes, Rand Paul, Sidney Powell, Wendy Rogers, Jordan Sather, Dan Stock, Roger Stone, Ben Tapper, Sherri Tenpenny, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ron Watkins, Lin Wood, Milo Yiannopoulos.

Bannon’s War Room, Epoch Times, Man in America, Newsmax, Next News Network, NTD News, One America News, RedPill78, Turning Point USA, X22Report.

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