President Trump loses 300K followers in Twitter purge

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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 said it expects the initiative to reduce the total follower count on the platform by a significant 6%, the Times reports.

Pakistani celebrity Twitter users with massive followers also experienced the same decrease.

A few months ago, Rahul Gandhi had retweeted United States president Donal Trump's tweet praising American-Pakistani relations.

Other people affected included Rihanna, who lost 900,000 followers and Justin Bieber, who lost three million followers to 104 million.

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 Wednesday, Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's legal, policy and trust & safety lead, announced in a blog post that the company would remove locked accounts from follower lists.

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

"People having an artificially-inflated follower count made up of bots and redundant accounts is at best deceiving and at worst, fraud".

Twitter had warned that it will lock all accounts that show suspicious activity, which has directly impacted the number of followers on a particular account.

Twitter says for an average user, the follower count is likely to drop by 4 but for those having over thousands of followers the effect can be quite significant as is the case with Modi. The company's stock fell 9 percent on Monday, as Wall Street anxious Twitter's plan to cleanup its platform would impact its user base.

Twitter's move to purge locked accounts is part of it's larger effort to safeguard the platform amid heightened scrutiny over the proliferation of trolls, fake news and disinformation on social networks like Twitter and Facebook (FB). The locked accounts were dormant for at least a month awaiting a password change by the owner, so it should not affect daily or monthly user metrics, the company wrote.

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