ACT leader David Seymour says 'attack from sex bots' to blame for Instagram follower boost

  • 08/04/2022

ACT Party leader David Seymour has once more denied buying Instagram followers, instead blaming a tripling of his following in 24 hours on an "attack by sex bots".

It comes after fake accounts started following his account in the thousands on Thursday.

Seymour told Newshub he was launching ACT's Tauranga candidate's campaign for the by-election when he was bombarded with messages about the sudden follower boost.

"I didn't even know you could be attacked by a sex bot," he said.

"Initially, I thought maybe it's not a bad thing - but then I realised it was just buggering up my Instagram for all the people that enjoy it."

The jump in followers was noticed on Twitter, with several people questioning what caused the account to gain tens of thousands of followers and whether the MP had bought the followers.

He has denied buying Instagram followers, saying he is proud of his followers and thinks he is around the third-most popular political figure on Instagram in New Zealand.

"I have to say in all respects to Jacinda Ardern - I think she's got about 1.7 million [followers] - even with my sex bots joining the team we are still a wee way behind her."

David Seymour is currently sitting at 74,000 Instagram followers - sex bots included.

Seymour said he has been in touch with Meta, the company that owns Instagram, who he says told him it looked like there has been a malfunction at their end they haven't sorted out yet.

He said he doesn't know why the attack happened or what the sex bots want from him.

"I'm sort of hoping they just want good representation in Parliament - but it looks like what they really need is more clothes." 

He thinks Meta will delete the fake accounts and he can get back to the 25,000 real people that were following him and he can continue to grow his social media organically.