Don't be surprised if you lose followers — Twitter purge

13 July, 2018, 14:40 | Author: Sheila Harris

Celebrity accounts on Twitter have seen a big drop in numbers overnight, thanks to a rule change by the company.

Since Twitter announced that it would be working to reduce questionable accounts, President Trump has lost about 100,000 of his 53.4 million followers, while former president Barack Obama is down nearly 400,000 of his 104 million followers as of Wednesday, according to a report from Washington Post.

On Wednesday, Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's head of legal, policy, trust and safety, said the company would begin removing "locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally".

Apparently, a lot of those accounts followed the CEO of Twitter. Barack Obama went down 2.1 million.

It follows renewed scrutiny over fake news and users on social media.

Twitter is no longer counting as followers any accounts that have been locked because of suspected fraud, Chief Executive Jack Dorsey posted on Thursday. While it excludes spam accounts in reported user data, Twitter noted early this year that monthly active user numbers would be "negatively impacted" by efforts to expunge fake accounts.

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For Twitter, anyone who tweets a large volume of unsolicited replies, unnecessarily tags a large number of people or tweets misleading links becomes a suspicious user.

Twitter said owners of accounts will not be able to log in unless they validate the accounts and reset passwords.

Tech executive Elon Musk saw the smallest dip, 0.3 percent, or about 71,000 followers.

Kenyans took to Twitter to "mark themselves safe" and call out accounts with fake followers using the #TwitterCleanupKE and also poked fun at those who have been affected.

In a statement, Twitter said most people will see a change of four followers or fewer and that larger follower counts will experience more significant drops. "We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation", Twitter reiterated.

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