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Twitter is cutting millions of dubious accounts from user follower counts, the company announced on Wednesday, as the platform continues its efforts to weed out trolls and fake accounts.
Locked accounts, which have been made inactive until further verification by Twitter, will be expunged from follower counts starting on Thursday, the company announced in a blog post.
“Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop,” said Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of legal, policy, and trust. “We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.”
Twitter noted these accounts are different from spam and bot accounts — two other issues that have plagued the platform — in that they were usually started by “real people,” but the company is unable to verify they’re still being run by their initial creators.
The announcement follows the Washington Post’s report last week Twitter is increasingly cracking down on fake accounts, with the company suspending 70 million accounts between May and June. The company’s stock fell 9 percent on Monday, as Wall Street worried Twitter’s plan to cleanup its platform would impact its user base. Twitter said on Thursday its removal of locked accounts from follower counts will not impact its daily or monthly user count.
Gadde said the removal of locked accounts aims to give users a more “meaningful and accurate” depiction of follower counts.