The Consumers’ Association of Ireland Facebook page has three and a half times more fans in Turkey than in Ireland

The Consumers’ Association of Ireland, which was accused this week of buying thousands of fake Twitter followers, appears to have three and a half times more Facebook fans in Turkey than in Ireland.

The page’s Irish fans account for just seven per cent of its 6,614 followers, while nearly a quarter – 24.7 per cent – of the accounts which have liked the page are based in Turkey.

The consumer watchdog’s Twitter following saw an increase on Monday from some 300 followers to more than 3,000, which was pointed out on Twitter by consumer affairs website Value Ireland. An analysis of the CAI’s Twitter followers by politics and current affairs blogger Paul Duggan revealed that the account had more followers in Brazil than in Ireland.

The CAI has denied claims that it purchased fake followers, stating that its account had been spammed and that it is working to rectify the situation.


At the time of writing the CAI’s Twitter account had seen its following drop from some 3,300 to just over 2,600. However the organisation’s Facebook page seems to be experiencing a similar problem.

An analysis of the CAI’s Facebook fanbase using Fanpage Karma reveals an apparent widespread global interest in Irish consumer affairs. The five top countries represented among its followers, amounting to just under half of the page’s 6,614 fans, are Turkey (1,568 followers), Ireland (448), Indonesia (441), Brazil (419) and India (258).

CAI Piechart

The page has an engagement rate – measuring the proportion of fans who like, comment on or share posts – of just 0.02 per cent.

Fake Facebook and Twitter followers can be purchased online for relatively small sums, though it is possible to for an account to be followed by spam accounts without soliciting or paying for them.

According to an article in today’s Sunday Times the CAI received €47,000 in State funding in December 2012 “to help improve its profile in media and social media, and to increase membership”.

The organisation received a further €45,000 in funding last month for IT projects, including support for “marketing, customer service, PR and social media monitoring and engagement”.

Update, Monday January 20

Updates on the CAI Facebook and Twitter accounts today assert that the organisation’s Facebook page, like its Twitter account, has been spammed.



  1. […] Una Sinnott decided to take a look at the CAI’s Facebook page using FanpageKarma and found that over 90% of their Facebook fans are outside Ireland.  The greatest number are in Turkey – more than 3 times the number in Ireland. […]