Uhuru loses followers in Twitter purge

Saul Bowman
July 14, 2018

Having a strong follower base on Twitter is a thing of pride for many, but it serves a greater objective to celebs and social media influencers, who can negotiate deals with advertisers by boasting their impressive follower count.

Some of the world's biggest celebrities have lost millions of Twitter followers after the company cracked down on "locked" accounts. Still, the former president remains the third most-followed person on the platform behind Katy Perry and Justin Bieber. Even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lost followers, but he didn't appear upset about it. Dorsey tweeted he lost 200,000 followers, followed by the waving emoji.

Kim Kardashian West unloaded 1.7 million followers in the last day, going from 60.2 million followers to 58.5 million on Thursday.

Katy Perry, the most popular user on all of Twitter, saw about 3 million followers disappear, bringing her total down to 107 million.

"Over the years, we've locked accounts when we detected sudden changes in account behaviour", Twitter spokeswoman Vijaya Gadde said.

Twitter began purging its platform of millions of suspicious or fake accounts Thursday.

Early reports had the president losing just around 100,000 followers in his count on Twitter, but the Hollywood Reporter states that the number has continued to grow.

A Twitter spokesperson told Newsweek the platform will see a drop in around six percent of followers in the coming days.

Barack Obama went from 103 million followers to 101 million. Others are unwittingly followed by accounts that have gone dormant.

Rahul Gandhi followership tanked after microblogging site Twitter removed around 70 million fake accounts.

Twitter chose to sanitise the platform by removing inactive and locked accounts.

"Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop". Locked accounts had already been kept out of Twitter's daily and monthly active user figures.

"As part of our ongoing and global effort to build trust and encourage healthy conversation on Twitter, every part of the service matters", read its blog post.

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