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and the [sales of his] how-to-rape guides … are collapsing in a freefall. More than half of his followers are not even real. Noone wants to associate with this serial rapist douchebag.
I’ve seen similar claims — at least about Roosh’s allegedly plummeting book sales — on Twitter as well.
As happy as I would be to see the utter, ignominious implosion of Roosh V’s little world, the evidence provided as proof of Roosh’s collapse isn’t terribly convincing. Some of it is unreliable, some of it is misleading, and my attempts to dig more deeply into some of the data have raised more questions than they’ve answered.
Let’s look at the claims one by one.
Roosh’s “fake” followers
The evidence of the poor quality of Roosh’s Twitter followers comes from the Fakers app on StatusPeople.com.
The results are similar for Roosh’s other Twitter accounts (publicizing his blog and his site Return of Kings).
This looks a lot worse than it really is. Yes, Roosh has a lot of inactive followers, but there are a lot of inactive accounts on Twitter, and he doesn’t have an enormous number of fake followers. Indeed, TwitterAudit, which doesn’t seem to pay much attention to inactive users, gives Roosh’s account a thumb’s up.
If you want to see someone with a lot of fake followers, take a gander at this guy:
Roosh’s “collapsing” book sales
Here’s where things get really confusing. The only “proof” I’ve seen for this has been incomplete and misleading. The Reddit posts link to a screencap showing the sales on Amazon of the paperback edition of Roosh’s Bang Poland guide; the link I found on Twitter showed the Amazon sales of the paperback edition of Bang, his best-known book.
Looking only at these two examples, it does indeed seem to suggest that Roosh’s book sales have slowed to a trickle — the paperback of Bang Poland has sold only 5 copies this month, despite all the media attention paid to Roosh, and Bang has sold 31.
But that’s only part of the story. Roosh sells a lot more ebooks than he does paperbacks, and a lot more of Bang than any of his country guides. Looking at the data for the Kindle edition of Bang we see that he’s sold 70, more than twice as many as the paperback edition.
It’s true that this is less than what he was selling on Amazon earlier this year but looking through the sales data is, well, let’s just say it’s confusing, suggesting that Roosh went from more than 130 ebooks per month to literally zero from February through May. (Did he get banned on Amazon for a while?)
And this is only the data for Amazon; we’re not taking into consideration how many books he sells directly off of his own site, including bundles of all his books.
So all we can really say about his book sales is that we don’t know if they’re going down, or up, or staying stable.
This seems like the most clear-cut evidence for a decline in Roosh’s fortunes. Emphasis on the “seems.”
The traffic-ranking site Alexa seems to show a sharp drop in traffic for both Return of Kings and Roosh’s own blog.
But there are problems with this data too. First off, Roosh hasn’t actually posted on his own blog since June, so you’d expect a big dropoff. And if you look at the scale on both you’ll see that the drops aren’t as steep as they appear at first glance.
More to the point, though: Alexa’s numbers are estimated, for Roosh’s sites and most other sites, and I know from watching my own Alexa stats that their estimates can be pretty far off.
You would never guess looking at my Alexa chart, for example, that my best month ever was in May of this year, and that I did a lot better in October of last year than I did this January, a relatively slow month for me, but which Alexa paints as my best month ever. (Or that July and August have both been better months than June.)
So, in other words, we don’t know if the seemingly huge drop in traffic at Return of Kings is as huge as it looks.
That said, I do suspect that Roosh has passed his sell-by date. He’s out of ideas, clearly sick of “game” but not even remotely smart or original enough to be the reactionary philosopher he fancies himself becoming. The deliberately offensive Return of Kings posts that got him so much attention last year have lost their novelty. He’s probably not going to be invited back on Dr. Oz.
Oh, he still has his devoted followers, and unless Alexa is completely and utterly wrong, Return of Kings still gets more traffic than me.
I don’t expect a sudden crash. Roosh will just become less and less relevant by the day. The controversy of his World Tout may have energized him and his little cult, but that’s not going to last.
Roosh, dude, I hate to tell you, but I think you may have hit the wall.