Twitter purge means fewer followers for Trump, Obama, Justin Bieber

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President Donald Trump, one of the most prolific and high-profile tweeters, lost about 100,000 of his approximately 53.4 million Twitter followers, according to the Washington Post, and former President Barack Obama lost about 400,000 from his 104 million followers.

"This week, we'll be removing these locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally", said Twitter. While it excludes spam accounts in reported user data, Twitter noted early this year that monthly active user numbers would be "negatively impacted" by efforts to expunge fake accounts.

Other regular Twitter users have noticed their accounts dropping today thanks to the purge, while others didn't notice a change at all to their accounts.

The new policy could be substantial for some Twitter users because follower totals serve as a top selling point when celebrities and so-called social media influencers negotiate deals with advertisers.

"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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In January, New York's chief prosecutor said the state had launched an investigation into a company, which allegedly sold millions of fake followers to social media users. Katy Perry started off with 109 million followers, and a 2.8 million drop represents a decline of approximately 2.6%.

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.

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

Basketball star Shaquille O'Neal also lost about a million from his 15.3 million followers, and Oprah lost about 1.4 million followers, the Times reports. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama lost about 2 million, leaving him with 101 million overall. Twitter locks accounts when they display a sudden change of behaviour, like sending lots of unsolicited replies.

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