Monday, 19 November, 2018

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

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Charles Bowen | 13 July, 2018, 19:25

Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer and co-founder, said in a tweet on Thursday that he lost 200 000 followers, bringing his total down to 4 million, after Twitter made good on its pledge to remove suspicious accounts.

From Narendra Modi to superstar Shah Rukh Khan, notable personalities have lost followers in the Twitter purge.

In a Wednesday announcement, Twitter said it would begin deleting accounts that had been locked on suspicion of being hacked or used for spam, according to the Daily Beast.

Meanwhile Britney Spears (14th in terms of followers) did lose more than 2 million, and Twitter's own corporate Twitter account (16th) lost more than 7 million.

Twitter's top executive didn't slide by unscathed in the social-media site's crackdown on fake followers.

Celebrity accounts on Twitter have seen a big drop in numbers overnight, thanks to a rule change by the company.

More news: Officials Conduct Demolition of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Towers

The new measures mean that any user whose account is locked for unusual activity - such as being blocked or sending unusual volumes of Tweets - and who did not respond to a prompt to verify their identity would be excluded from Twitter follower counts. This is part of a broader effort to fight trolls, fake news, and disinformation on the platform.

CEO Ezekiel Mutua is another casualty whose account has dropped from over 100,000 followers to a meagre 34,000.

The move is aimed at users reportedly inflating their followers on the platform with automated or fake accounts, buying the appearance of social influence to "bolster their political activism, business endeavours or entertainment careers".

The average user was told to expect a drop of four or fewer followers, but warned others would "experience a more significant drop".

His predecessor Barack Obama gained 18,622 followers on Thursday and lost 2,357,631 on Friday.

"This week, we'll be removing these locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally. We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation", Twitter reiterated.

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