The 24 finalists in the new series of American Idol have been ordered to ditch their Twitter, Facebook and MySpace accounts, in favour of the official feeds for the show itself. Each contestant tweeted this message, for example: “Thanks so much for following me! All my updates from now on will be on our Official Ai9 Twitter Page, please follow me there @AI9Contestants.” US media are speculating that the reason is that individual accounts reveal the popularity of contestants through their friend/follower counts – which could influence voting patterns. However, information on this popularity could still leak out – the IdolNerd site plans to track mentions of contestants on social media sites and predict each week’s winner. Source: Mashable

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