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Twitter is making moves to disincentivise the use of fake or purchased followers, it has locked suspicious attacks over the past week, and is now moving to have them removed from follower counts over the next few days.
As per Twitter:
Over the years, we’ve locked accounts when we detected sudden changes in account behavior. 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. This week, we’ll be removing these locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally. As a result, the number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down.
Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop. We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.
You likely wouldn’t notice a slight drop of followers as Twitter says you’ll see a drop of four followers or even fewer, but many who have purchased larger numbers of followers might see larger drops.
Twitter says that these lockings won’t remove their MAU or DAU, and while some metrics may be affected, they are part of their ongoing public commitment to a “healthy public conversation.”