The Twitter “ purge ” is underway , and not even the biggest accounts , from President Donald Trump to President Barack Obama , can escape without losing a healthy chunk of their followers .
The social media giant began Thursday removing “ locked” accounts , which have been made inactive until further verification by Twitter . The move comes one day after the company announced that prominent accounts could see a “ significant drop . ”
Trump , perhaps the most notorious Twitter user on the planet right now , saw his follower count drop by roughly 400 , 000 people to 53 million followers on Thursday — but the purge appears to be ongoing and that number could increase dramatically .
His predecessor , Barack Obama , was hit even harder , falling by more than 2 . 5 million followers in the past 24 hours to 101 million followers.
Kim Kardashian- West unloaded 1 . 7 million followers in the last day , going from 60 . 2 million followers to 58 . 5 million on Thursday . Even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lost followers , but he didn ’ t appear upset about it .
Dorsey tweeted he lost 200 , 000 followers , followed by the waving emoji .
Other big – time influencers were impacted on Thursday as well . Elon Musk lost 200 , 000 followers , while Rihanna had lost 900 , 000 since 10 : 30 a . m . on Wednesday . And sorry to Justin Bieber , but the singer saw a healthy dip in followers, dropping nearly 3 million followers to 104 million on Thursday .
Twitter noted on Wednesday locked 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 .
Vijaya Gadde, Twitter ’ s head of legal , policy, and trust , said on Wednesday the follower purge “ may be hard for some , but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation . ”
The announcement follows the Washington Post ’ s report last week that Twitter is increasingly cracking down on fake accounts , with the company suspending 70 million accounts between May and June .
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