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

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

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

Twitter said Wednesday it was purging the "locked" accounts in part to increase trust in and transparency about the service.

It follows renewed scrutiny over fake news and users on social media. CNN's breaking news account lost roughly 1 million followers, while the main New York Times account lost about 730,000. 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.

Trump's account on Wednesday showed him with 53.4 million followers.

Katy Perry has maintained her place as the most followed person on Twitter.

"Follower counts are a visible feature, and we want everyone to have confidence that the numbers are meaningful and accurate", said Twitter in a blog.

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Obama lost more than 2 million followers - dropping from 104 million to 101 million - Thursday afternoon as the social media network continued to purge inactive and locked accounts.

"In most cases, these accounts were created by real people, but we can not confirm that the original person who opened the account still has control and access to it", he wrote in a blog post describing the change.

Starting Thursday, Twitter has been locking fictitious accounts for bulk tweeting, posting large number of unsolicited replies, or sharing links with misleading information.

However, Twitter's primary account itself appears to be the biggest loser, Variety reported, losing 7.5 million fake accounts - or 12 percent - from 62.85 million earlier Thursday to 55.35 million by mid-afternoon. On 11 July, he had 34.89 million followers but the number dropped to 34.47 million in just 24 hours.

Kenyans with a significantly small following also faced the purge with some reporting they had lost between 100-200 followers by Friday morning.

"In most cases, these [locked] accounts were created by real people but the platform can not confirm that the original person who opened the account still has control and access to it", Twitter had said, adding that spam or bot accounts on the other hand showed "spammy" behaviour from the beginning.

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