US President Donald Trump lost about 100,000 of his 53.4 million followers, while his predecessor Barack Obama saw a significant drop of nearly 400,000 of his 104 million followers as Twitter began removing accounts locked by it for their suspicious activity, a media report said here on Thursday. The move of the microblogging site is a part of its efforts to sanitise its platform, rife with spam, trolling and other questionable practices, The Washington Post reported. Twitter has 336 million users logging in monthly, but many of the frozen profiles were not active at least once a month. The company said the move would affect about six per cent of follower counts across the service and the most popular accounts could experience a “significant drop” in followers over the next week.
Following the move, President Trump lost about 100,000 of his 53.4 million followers, and former president Obama lost about 400,000 of his 104 million followers, the Post reported. Twitter’s Legal, Policy, Trust and Safety Lead Vijaya Gadde acknowledged in a blog post that the move might disappoint some users, but it was necessary to regain trust. “Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop…We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation,” the Indian-origin Twitter’s top lawyer said. The accounts being removed from follower counts could be locked for a variety of reasons, including tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies or misleading links, the company said. The locked accounts are not included in the tally of monthly and daily active users that Twitter reports to Wall Street, and the sweep would not affect those metrics, it added.