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Obama loses millions of followers in Twitter purge

13 July 2018

President Donald Trump's yuge Twitter following has taken a whack.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto are among Kenyans who have lost a sizeable chunk of social media following, in an ongoing purge by social network giant Twitter to weed out dubious accounts.

Kenyatta and Ruto lost 16,098 and 7,465 followers respectively as at 2:30 pm on Friday when Capital FM News last checked the number of followers they had on Twitter.

Social blade, a software that helps track social media stats, threw interesting insights into how politicians fared after Twitter's war on fake followers.

Celebrity accounts on Twitter have seen a big drop in numbers overnight, thanks to a rule change by the company.

Twitter said the accounts are locked after the platform detects "sudden changes in account behavior", which includes tweeting out a large number of unsolicited replies, sharing links that are misleading or being blocked by a large number of users that have been mentioned by the account.

Twitter is now clamping down on problem accounts, including all locked accounts. The fake and frozen accounts out there were a huge part of many user follower counts, but they aren't going to be any longer.

A Twitter crackdown on "locked" accounts has lead to some of its most high profile users losing millions of followers.

"People having an artificially-inflated follower count made up of bots and redundant accounts is at best deceiving and at worst, fraud". Some celebrities lost the equivalent of a city's or even a small nation's worth of followers in mere minutes.

"We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation", Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's Legal, Policy and Trust and Safety Head, said in a blog post earlier this week.

Nyakundi's followers have reduced from a whopping 1.2 million to 696,000 while Dela's numbers now stand at 521,000 from an impressive one million.

Barack Obama's (@barackobama) total followers shrank by 2.1 million, or 2.1%, to 101.5 million.

Obama loses millions of followers in Twitter purge