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Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek October 7, 2020

No, the Rock didn’t lose millions of followers after publicly announcing his support for Biden

If Your Time is short

  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on Sept. 27 endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris.

  • Johnson gained about 196,000 Instagram followers the day he posted his announcement and 3 million Instagram followers in September. His YouTube subscribers increased 

  • A review of news stories and websites that track social media analytics found Johnson didn’t lose anywhere near 48 million followers following his announcement.

At the end of September, Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson took to his social media accounts to endorse Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

The move prompted both support and outrage from his millions of followers, and also inspired some questionable online claims.

"The Rock has lost 48 million followers on his IG and YouTube after coming out for Biden," one Oct. 2 Facebook post reads.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Johnson’s endorsement of Biden and Harris may have angered some enough that they unfollowed him, but there is no indication the announcement prompted a mass unfollowing of Johnson’s social media accounts.

PolitiFact reviewed news stories and websites that track social media analytics and follower counts and found Johnson didn’t lose anywhere near 48 million followers after his announcement.

Instagram followers

On Instagram, Johnson gained about 196,000 followers the day he posted his endorsement and his conversation with Biden and Harris, according to Trackalytics, a website that provides free social media and website analytics. 

Social Blade, another website that tracks user statistics on various social media platforms, shows a smaller gain, but still a gain — about 95,000 followers the day he posted the video. 

Neither website shows Johnson losing more than about 30,000 Instagram followers in any single day of the week, Sept. 27  to Oct. 4, following his endorsement of Biden and Harris.

Featured Fact-check

We also found a story about Johnson’s experience with coronavirus that mentioned he had 196 million Instagram followers at the beginning of September. Johnson now has more than 200 million followers on Instagram, and had 199 million followers by Oct. 1.

Even if Johnson’s endorsement of the Democrats had prompted a mass unfollowing of his account, he seems to have had a net gain of around 3 million followers during September.

YouTube followers

On YouTube, Johnson’s following is less strong, but there’s still no indication that he hemorrhaged millions of followers or subscribers after announcing his support for Biden.

At the start of September, his channel had 5.27 million subscribers, according to an archived version of the channel from Sept. 1. The day before his announcement, that had increased to 5.32 million subscribers

Johnson had 5.35 million subscribers on YouTube as of Oct. 6. 

Overall, he gained subscribers since endorsing Biden and Harris.

Social Blade’s statistics for The Rock’s YouTube channel are less detailed than the Instagram stats, but they also indicate an overall gain of about 60,000 subscribers over the last 30 days. The Social Blade statistics do not show any significant drop in the number of Johnson’s YouTube subscribers in the wake of his Biden endorsement.

Our ruling

A post on Facebook says, "The Rock has lost 48 million followers on his IG and YouTube after coming out for Biden."

A look at previous media coverage and websites that track social media analytics and follower counts show that Johnson didn’t lose anywhere near 48 million Instagram and YouTube followers after he announced his support for Biden and Harris. On both platforms, he actually appears to have gained followers in September, overall. 

We rate this claim False.

 

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No, the Rock didn’t lose millions of followers after publicly announcing his support for Biden

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