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Trump, Obama and other high-profile Twitter users could see a “significant drop” in followers

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/07/11/get-ready-your-twitter-followers-are-about-drop/?utm_term=.3dae450f9352

 

On Wednesday, the social media service said it would begin removing large numbers of Twitter profiles that had been included in people’s follower counts — even though these profiles had been frozen by the company’s security team for suspicious behavior, rendering them completely inactive for significant periods of time.

Twitter said the most popular accounts could experience a “significant drop” in followers over the next week. Twitter appeared to be getting a head start on the purge Tuesday night: President Trump lost about 100,000 of his 53.4 million followers and President Obama lost about 400,000 of his 104 million followers.

The move by Twitter is the latest in a series of hard choices that the company is making to prioritize cleaning up its platform – rife with spam, trolling, and other questionable practices – over metrics that inflate the service’s popularity. The company said the effort would affect about six percent of follower counts across the service. Twitter has 336 million users logging in monthly, but many of the frozen profiles were not active at least once a month.

The company’s Legal, Policy, Trust, and Safety Lead Vijaya Gadde acknowledged in a blog post that some users might be disappointed, but said the move was necessary to regain trust. “Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop,” she said. “We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.”

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