It’s nearly one month since John Lefevre, a 34-year old ex-Citi bond trader was unmasked as the man behind the super-popular @GSElevatorTwitter account. Since then, Lefevre has lost his book deal with Simon and Schuster. Unfazed, he’s declared himself determined to keep tweeting and claims to have been offered a ‘regular column for two of the most prestigious capital markets publications.’
So far, so good. Lefevre’s unmasking doesn’t even seem to have done his number of Twitter followers much harm: at the time of his unmasking, he reportedly had 650k; now he has 653k. However, on one important measure, Lefevre’s popularity seems to have plummeted: he’s not getting nearly as many retweets as he used to.
In an interview with the New York Times, Lefevre himself admitted that he ‘panders for retweets’ when posting his outrageous aphorisms and observances on Twitter. Before his unmasking, Lefevre almost always achieved thousands of retweets on everything he wrote. Since his true non-GS identity has been revealed, his amplification hasn’t been nearly so heavy: on 20 tweets between 1st Jan 2014 and 16th Feb 2014, Lefevre achieved an average of 2,200 retweets. On the four aphoristic tweets he’s put out since his unmasking in mid-February, Lefevre only got 859 retweets.
On this basis, his popularity is down 61%.
Admittedly, 859 retweets are more than most mortals achieve on Twitter and the post-revelation-tweet-sample-size is small. Lefevre may recover his stride once he tweets a little more. At this stage, however, it looks a lot like people were more prepared to engage with someone they presumed worked at Goldman Sachs than with someone they know has never worked there after all.
Update: Lefevre, who seems to have another pseudonymous Twitter account, @MrJTStone, from which he defends @GSElevator, has responded to our claims as follows: