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

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

This is PM Modi's personal Twitter account, which is the third most followed Twitter handle globally after those of US President Donald Trump and Pope Francis.

Twitter, in a blog, stated that it would suspend private accounts in a bid to curb fake news by limiting fake users: "Follower counts are a visible feature, and we want everyone to have confidence that the numbers are meaningful and accurate".

Twitter's main account lost 7.5 million followers in one day from 62.85 million to 55.35 million. The company culled tens of millions of suspicious accounts on Wednesday and caused some of its highest profile users to hemorrhage followers.

Other celebs who lost followers include Justin Bieber (1.3%) Ellen DeGeneres (2.5%), Taylor Swift (2.7%), and Lady Gaga (1.9%). In a major crackdown conducted today, Twitter has lashed out all the bots and fake followers who have been misusing Twitter so far. The social media giant is purging millions of suspicious accounts.

Twitter is no longer counting as followers any accounts that have been locked because of suspected fraud, Chief Executive Jack Dorsey posted on Thursday.

Former President Obama lost more than 2 million followers on Twitter this week as the social platform removed inactive and locked accounts from follower counts, according to a preliminary review by The Hill.

Celebrities like Divya Dutta, Onir and Apurva Asrani reacted on losing followers overnight.

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A Twitter spokesperson told Newsweek the platform will see a drop in around six percent of followers in the coming days. On Friday, Obama had 101 million followers, but on July 11, he had 104 million.

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

However, Vijaya Gadde, from Twitter's trust and safety team made it clear that most of these accounts still have real people behind them.

Twitter locks accounts when they display a sudden change of behaviour, like sending lots of unsolicited replies.

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

Coming back to the local scene, we have seen some significant drop in follower counts in some accounts.

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