PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi lose thousands of followers — Twitter's safety crackdown

Danny Woods
July 13, 2018

Still, the former president remains the third most-followed person on the platform behind Katy Perry and Justin Bieber. Dorsey tweeted that he saw 200,000 of his own followers vanish.

Nyakundi's followers have reduced from a whopping 1.2 million to 696,000 while Dela's numbers now stand at 521,000 from an impressive one million.

While Nyakudi lost 593,379 followers, self-proclaimed trend setter - Xtiandela - had registered a loss of 567,044 followers by 2:30 on Friday.

"Our digital ecosystem is being polluted by a growing number of fake user accounts, so Twitter's commitment to cleaning up the digital space should be welcomed wholeheartedly by everyone, from users of the platforms, to creators and advertisers", Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed wrote in an email to Bloomberg.

It is these accounts which have been lying locked for a while that are now being removed. "In these situations, we reach out to the owners of the accounts, and unless they validate the account and reset their passwords, we keep them locked with no ability to log in".

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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"We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation".

Twitter locks accounts when it detects "sudden changes in account behavior", like tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies or mentions - in other words, signs that it's engaging in spam or bot-like activity.

Others such as US President Donald Trump, celebrities Rihanna and Oprah Winfrey also lost significant numbers.

Mr Trump lost over 304,140 followers from the start of the week, while Mr Johnson lost 28,961.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal too lost almost 32,000 followers (13.8 million). By Thursday evening, the @POTUS handle had actually gained a number of followers, even though the numbers are still continuing to fluctuate a little here and there.

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