Big Twitter Accounts See Follower Numbers Drop After Fake-User Purge

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Twitter has been trying to clean house over the past several months - and this week President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama saw a dramatic drop in followers.

In the worldwide scene, United States President Donald Trump lost 326,118 followers on Thursday and later gained 5,339 followers on Friday.

Nowhere has this been more true than with Twitter's own account on the platform, which lost 7.7 million followers.

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

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President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are among the casualties of the ongoing war on dormant and fake followers by social media giant Twitter.

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By cracking down on fake accounts, Twitter hopes to restore faith in the controversy-ridden platform where influence-from entertainment to politics-can be inflated by automated or fake followers, the New York Times reports. "We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation", it explained. On 11 July, the follower count was 26.68 million and now the figure is 26.55 million. Twitter locks accounts when they display a sudden change of behaviour, like sending lots of unsolicited replies.

While eliminating locked accounts from follower totals will not affect MAU or DAU totals, Twitter's efforts to shut down other kinds of accounts - including those set up by spammers - potentially could, Gadde acknowledged.

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

Social media analytics firm Keyhole tracked the impact of the purge on the 100 most popular Twitter (TWTR) accounts.

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

"In most cases, these [locked] accounts were created by real people but the platform can not confirm that the original person who opened the account still has control and access to it", Twitter had said, adding that spam or bot accounts on the other hand showed "spammy" behaviour from the beginning.

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