Obama loses more than 2 million Twitter followers amid crackdown

While eliminating locked accounts from follower totals will not affect MAU or DAU totals, Twitter's efforts to shut down other kinds of accounts - including those set up by spammers - potentially could, Gadde acknowledged.

A Twitter Inc policy change on Thursday to increase the service's credibility cost its 100 most popular users about 2 per cent of their followers, on average, according to social media data firm Keyhole.

"As the change went into effect, Twitter's "@Twitter" account lost 12.4 percent of its followers compared with Wednesday, the steepest drop among the top 100 accounts by followers, according to Keyhole data.

Across the board, Twitter's most followed celebrities felt a cut on Thursday.

Barack Obama's (@barackobama) total followers shrank by 2.1 million, or 2.1%, to 101.5 million.

For Twitter, anyone who tweets a large volume of unsolicited replies, unnecessarily tags a large number of people or tweets misleading links becomes a suspicious user.


President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are among the casualties of the ongoing war on dormant and fake followers by social media giant, Twitter.

"Removing locked accounts from followers doesn't impact MAU or DAU", Twitter said in a blog post. "We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation", it explained.

Twitter said owners of accounts will not be able to log in unless they validate the accounts and reset passwords. Follower counts for Justin Bieber fell 1.3%, Rihanna was down 0.6%, Ellen DeGeneres dropped 2.5%, Taylor Swift fell 2.7%, and Lady Gaga declined 1.9%.

"Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop".

Twitter argued that the recent move was aimed at building users' confidence and reflected the fact that follower counts are "a visible feature" on the platform.

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