Published: Sun, July 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Obama loses millions of followers in Twitter purge

Obama loses millions of followers in Twitter purge that tracks the number of Twitter followers on a daily basis, had a tab on the count, and said Aamir Khan lost 316,900-plus followers, while Priyanka Chopra lost 354,830 followers and Deepika Padukone lost 288,298.

By contrast, former President Barack Obama's count fell by 2.1 million followers, or 2.1 percent, to 101.5 million.

As Twitter continues to rid its platform of suspicious accounts, many users, including influential profiles like U.S. President Donald Trump, could see a significant drop in followers.

The drop in the follower count, however, has nothing to do with popularity of the Modi government.

Twitter took its "Will the real followers stand up?" show on the road Thursday, beginning a massive purge of fake Twitter accounts and bots.

Even the official account of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) @pmoindia saw a drop of over 1 lakh followers. Some conservatives on Twitter argued that the purge was politically motivated.

"The fact that Twitter is taking steps to remove fake accounts is sending a message that they have become more vigilant about eliminating illegitimate activity on the platform", said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief executive of Socialbakers, in a statement.

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Justin Bieber’s follower count dropped by over 2.6 million

As Twitter began sanitising its platform by removing inactive and locked accounts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday lost almost 300,000 followers while Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi lost over 17,000 followers.

Twitter announced on Wednesday that it would no longer include "locked" accounts in follower numbers in an effort to boost user trust in the service.

Twitter's own @twitter account shed millions of followers. The stock gained 3.2% on Thursday.

"Followercounts are a visible feature, and we want everyone to have confidence that the numbers are meaningful and accurate", Gadde said.

Mak reports Twitter suspended these fake accounts, which were created in Russian Federation. Before that story was published he had 99K followers but as of Friday he now has roughly 43.6K, though it's unclear exactly when he lost so many of them.

Twitter suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July.

The move by Twitter is the latest in a series of hard choices that the company is making to prioritize cleaning up its platform - rife with spam, trolling and other questionable practices - over metrics that inflate the service's popularity.

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