Published: Fri, July 13, 2018

Obama loses more than 2 million Twitter followers amid crackdown

Obama loses more than 2 million Twitter followers amid crackdown

On the global front, President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama lost huge numbers of followers.

Even Twitter itself didn't escape unscathed, as it saw 12 percent, or 7.7 million of its followers disappear between Wednesday and Thursday.

Twitter's resident English teacher and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor lost 1,51,509 followers (6.59 million) in just 24 hours, while the government's minister-on-call Sushma Swaraj lost close to 75,000 followers (11.8 million). The change in follower counts doesn't affect the active user totals Twitter tracks and reports on a quarterly basis to investors, according to the company.

A Twitter spokesperson told Newsweek the platform will see a drop in around six percent of followers in the coming days. Other accounts were locked for tweeting large amounts of unwarranted replies or mentions, misleading links, or "if a large number of accounts block the account after mentioning them".

Twitter is now clamping down on problem accounts, including all locked accounts.


"This week, we'll be removing these locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally", said Twitter.

BJP chief Amit Shah also saw a drop of about 30,000 followers (11.3 million) since the drive started. However, looking at the most popular celeb and politicians accounts before and after Twitter's crackdown suggested a stringent effort by the micro-blogging platform. The company culled tens of millions of suspicious accounts on Wednesday and caused some of its highest profile users to hemorrhage followers.

"Over the years, we've locked accounts when we detected sudden changes in account behavior", Gadde explained.

In a statement, Twitter said most people will see a change of four followers or fewer and that larger follower counts will experience more significant drops. "Twitter understands this may be hard for some, but it believes accuracy and transparency will make the platform a more trusted service for public conversation". Meanwhile, Mr. Obama lost about 2 million, leaving him with 101 million overall.

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