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If your Twitter follower count dropped this week, you’re not alone – here’s why

Some politicians saw drops of over 100k followers.

Twitter update for news follower count demote
Image: Unsplash

Twitter is changing how it counts followers to bring more integrity to the platform, the social network announced today. With the change, Twitter will no longer include accounts locked for bad behavior in publicly posted follower counts. Many users have reported a drop in follower count, which was to be expected.

In making today’s announcement, Twitter explains that accounts are locked when it detects “sudden changes” in account behavior. As a result, Twitter then reaches out to the owners of the accounts requesting that they validate their credentials and reset their passwords.  Until that happens, the accounts remain locked.

If we detect sudden changes in account behavior, we may lock the account and contact the owner to confirm they still have control of it. These sudden changes in account behavior could include Tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies or mentions, Tweeting misleading links, or if a large number of accounts block the account after mentioning them. We sometimes lock an account if we see email and password combinations from other services posted online and believe that information could put the security of an account at risk — so we require accounts to change of their passwords for protection. Until we confirm that everything is ok with the account, we lock it, which makes them unable to Tweet or see ads.

For most folks, your follower count might drop by four or fewer followers thanks to the change. Those with larger followings will experience a more significant drop. For example, The Washington Post on Wednesday reported the shift dropped President Donald Trump’s Twitter count by 100,000, while former President Barack Obama saw his numbers fall by 400,000.

The real question here is what will it do to mass amounts of fake and troll accounts? Obviously, it will affect those numbers, but by how much? This change sounds like a good move and should give users a better idea of just how many people following them on Twitter.

Did you notice a drop in follower count this week? Do you even still use Twitter? Let us know in the comments.

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Bryan considers himself a well-rounded techie, having written articles for MakeUseOf, KnowTechie, AppAdvice, iDownload Blog. When he's not writing, he's being a single dad and rooting for his alma mater, Penn State, or cheering on the Patriots.

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