Here’s Why Your Twitter Follower Count Will Begin Dropping Today

Starting This kind of week, most Twitter users around the entire world will notice a slight drop in their follower counts. that will’s because, beginning today, the company plans to stop counting locked Twitter accounts in a user’s total number of followers.

Twitter announced the modifications Wednesday as part of its “healthy conversations” initiative, which in part seeks to weed out fraudulent in addition to spammy accounts. In a blog post, Twitter’s Legal, Policy, in addition to Trust & Safety Lead Vijaya Gadde suggests that will for most users the change will be tiny — about four followers or fewer. although for users with large followings — especially those who’ve attempted to inflate their followings with purchased followers — the number of purged accounts could be much higher. “We understand This kind of may be hard for some, although we believe accuracy in addition to transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation,” Gadde’s post reads.

According to Twitter, locked accounts are not necessarily automated bot or spam accounts. Twitter locks accounts for a variety of reasons, including when the company has reason to believe that will the account has been hacked or otherwise compromised. An account can be locked if Twitter believes This kind of has tweeted “a large volume of unsolicited replies in addition to mentions” or if This kind of has tweeted “misleading links.” Similarly, Twitter will lock an account in addition to inquire with the account owner if the company notices “a large number of accounts block the account after mentioning them.”

In all cases, Twitter contacts the owner of the locked account with instructions on how to unlock their account. According to a Twitter spokesperson, the locked account has one month to comply or verify itself before This kind of is usually then purged through follower lists.

The announcement comes as Twitter cracks down on fraudulent accounts. According to a Washington Post report, Twitter has recently been suspending as many as 1 million fake or suspicious accounts per day. Twitter’s renewed focus has come after years of reports of suspicious behavior, including “Tweetdecking” networks of users who buy in addition to sell retweets, Twitter’s admission that will more than 50,000 Russia-linked bot accounts tweeted about the 2016 US election campaign, in addition to a completely new York Times report investigating shady social media marketplaces for buying in addition to selling identities to celebrities in addition to brands.

in addition to while dropping locked accounts through follower counts won’t do much to mitigate the outgrowth of automated bots or stem the tide of misinformation, the move may be a tiny step toward transparency when This kind of comes to scams accounts in addition to bad actors. Follower counts are — rightly or not — a key metric of legitimacy across the network, in addition to purging inflated numbers is usually one tiny way to restore trust.

Charlie Warzel is usually a senior writer for BuzzFeed News in addition to is usually based in completely new York. Warzel reports on in addition to writes about the intersection of tech in addition to culture.

Contact Charlie Warzel at charlie.warzel@buzzfeed.com.

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