Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi, among others on Friday lost thousands of Twitter followers after the micro-blogging site deleted several suspicious and inactive accounts.
In a Wednesday announcement, Twitter said it would begin deleting accounts that had been locked on suspicion of being hacked or used for spam, according to the Daily Beast.
As Twitter began sanitising its platform by removing inactive and locked accounts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday lost almost 3,00,000 followers while Congress president Rahul Gandhi lost over 17,000 followers. "In these situations, we reach out to the owners of the accounts and unless they validate the account and reset their passwords, we keep them locked with no ability to log in", Twitter announced on Wednesday.
This change is the social media site's latest move in its war against abusive or fake accounts.
Christian who goes by the username XtianDela lost over 500,000 followers which led him to a drop from over 1 million followers while Nyakundi lost over 400,000. Amitabh Bachchan has in fact faced the biggest hit by losing out on the maximum number of followers.
The drop in the follower count, however, has nothing to do with popularity of the Modi government. Some celebrities lost the equivalent of a city's or even a small nation's worth of followers in mere minutes. Social media maven Kim Kardashian West lost about 1.5 million followers. He also added that the new protections policy has helped Twitter to prevent more than 50,000 fake signups per day.
It is these accounts which have been lying locked for a while that are now being removed.
"We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation", she wrote.
For Twitter, anyone who tweets a large volume of unsolicited replies, unnecessarily tags a large number of people or tweets misleading links becomes a suspicious user.
McHenry saw a similar drop this week, going from around 362,800 followers to 223,300 Thursday evening.