Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

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

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Freda Brock | 13 July, 2018, 23:51

The Washington Post reported last week that Twitter has suspended more than one million accounts a day in recent months, and the rate has more than doubled since October, when the company, under congressional pressure, revealed how Russians used fake accounts to manipulate the USA presidential election.

Twitter's resident English teacher and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor lost 1,51,509 followers (6.59 million) in just 24 hours, while the government's minister-on-call Sushma Swaraj lost close to 75,000 followers (11.8 million).

Twitter is no longer counting as followers any accounts that have been locked because of suspected fraud, Chief Executive Jack Dorsey posted on Thursday.

Singer Justin Bieber lost about 2.7 million followers, while President Obama's total dropped by almost 2.4 million.

A Twitter spokesperson told Newsweek the platform will see a drop in around six percent of followers in the coming days. Perry, who had 110 million followers before the purge, now has 107 million followers. He's likely still going to keep tweeting out news and calling others out on their fake news reports, but the president and many others are going to be doing it to smaller audiences thanks to the Twitter purge.

Back in January, the New York Times took a deep dive into an obscure company called Devumi, which sells Twitter followers - fake ones, though some contain the personal details of real Twitter users - to users who want to pad their social-media statistics.

Katy Perry has maintained her place as the most followed person on Twitter.

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The move is aimed at users reportedly inflating their followers on the platform with automated or fake accounts, buying the appearance of social influence to "bolster their political activism, business endeavours or entertainment careers".

"Over the years, we've locked accounts when we detected sudden changes in account behavior".

A Twitter crackdown on "locked" accounts has lead to some of its most high profile users losing millions of followers.

Meanwhile, most regular accounts may see a cut of about three or four followers, according to the company.

Prominent people and celebrities have started noticing the drop in followership.

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

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