Celebrities lose followers amid crackdown — Fake Twitter users

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Social media giant says it will start shutting down suspicious accounts it has locked.

Across the board, Twitter's most followed celebrities felt a cut on Thursday.

Controversial bloggers Cyprian Nyakundi and Christian Dela have each seen their numbers whittle down by half overnight. He's got over 4 million followers as of Thursday.

Some of the losers are among so-called influencers who are paid huge amounts of money to post content on their pages.

Basketball star Shaquille O'Neal also lost about a million from his 15.3 million followers, and Oprah lost about 1.4 million followers, the Times reports.

A Twitter policy change on Thursday to increase the service's credibility cost its 100 most popular users about 2 per cent of their followers, on average, according to social media data firm Keyhole.

The two bloggers were trolled on Twitter after they lost numbers.

Twitter's general counsel, Vijaya Gadde, said in a blog post that the latest move is part of the company's efforts to "build trust and encourage healthy conversation" after it faced global scrutiny for its flood of fake and spam accounts.

As expected, Twitter's elimination of "locked" users accounts from public follower counts has resulted in a decline for many users - including the biggest celebs on the platform, like Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.

"Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop".

Since Twitter announced that it would be working to reduce questionable accounts, President Trump has lost about 100,000 of his 53.4 million followers, while former president Barack Obama is down nearly 400,000 of his 104 million followers as of Wednesday, according to a report from Washington Post. "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".

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