Celebrities Are Losing Millions of Followers as Twitter Slashes Fake Accounts

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However, some of Twitter's biggest users, including Trump, saw huge drops in the numbers of their followers Thursday after the purge, Variety reported.

On Wednesday, Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's legal, policy and trust & safety lead, announced in a blog post that the company would remove locked accounts from follower lists. The president now has 53.1 million followers, according to his account page.

The social-media company warned on Wednesday that its crackdown on fake accounts means users will have fewer followers.

He said average Twitter users will not see such a dramatic difference in their follower counts, with most people losing only about four followers or fewer.

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Other politicians who lost the followers are External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, Trinamool Congress leader and Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani.

Twitter's top executive didn't slide by unscathed in the social-media site's crackdown on fake followers. "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.

Across the board, Twitter's most followed celebrities felt a cut on Thursday. For other users, follower counts are a point of pride.

Locked accounts, which differ from spam or bots, are restricted from posting when activity such as tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies or mentions are detected.

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Coming back to the local scene, we have seen some significant drop in follower counts in some accounts.

Kenyans with a significantly small following also faced the purge with some reporting they had lost between 100-200 followers by Friday morning.

Twitter argued that the recent move was aimed at building users' confidence and reflected the fact that follower counts are "a visible feature" on the platform.

Former president Barack Obama - the third most followed person in the world - took a hit of 2.3 million while current president Donald Trump lost only 305,000.

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

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