Twitter’s crackdown on fake accounts will make you look less popular

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The Washington Post reported last week that Twitter has suspended more than one million accounts a day in recent months, and the rate has more than doubled since October, when the company, under congressional pressure, revealed how Russians used fake accounts to manipulate the U.S. presidential election.

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.

They specified that they would be removing locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally, so we were to expect a drop in follower counts today.

Katy Perry, the most-followed user on Twitter, and Lady Gaga lost about 2.5 million followers.

Twitter's move has cost its 100 most popular users about 2% of their followers, on average, according to social media data firm Keyhole.

In Kenya, some of the bigwigs who had over a million and hundreds of thousands of followers have been the worst casualties in the ongoing clean up.

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Twitter has been under increased public scrutiny over complaints of fake and automated Twitter profiles that are spreading fake news, spamming the micro-blogging site, abusing others or impersonating people. The social media site said that, over the years, it had locked accounts if it detected "sudden changes in account behaviour", including tweeting of a large number of unsolicited replies or mentions, sharing misleading links, or if a large number of accounts blocked the account after mentioning them. On Friday, Obama had 101 million followers, but on July 11, he had 104 million.

Fast forward to this week, when Twitter began purging fake accounts in an attempt to rid itself of some of its more unsavory qualities - trolling, spam, etc. - and make its metrics a little more realistic.

Other celebrities also lost big.

Twitter announced it was cracking down on locked accounts to "improve the health" of conversation on the platform.

The head of the company's legal team, Vijaya Gadde, said that most accounts would only lose around four followers as a result of the new measures.

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