Twitter changes how it counts followers

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If you are a Twitter user you may have noticed your following count dropping lately. Twitter has introduced a change in the way followers are counted in an effort to bolster the integrity of the platform.

Twitter will stop including accounts that have been locked for bad behavior in publicly posted follower counts, the company said today. Accounts that are locked for violating the company’s standards remain frozen unless the owner logs back in and resets their password. From now on, those locked accounts won’t be counted as followers of any account they had followed.

Most people will lose four followers or fewer because of the change, Twitter said. But large accounts could lose hundreds of thousands of accounts. President Donald Trump’s account lost 100,000 followers immediately after Twitter made the change, a Washington Post reporter found, and former President Barack Obama lost 400,000.

“You should be confident that the follower numbers presented across Twitter are meaningful and accurate,” said Vijaya Gadde, who oversees Twitter’s safety team, in a tweet. “We’re introducing a change to follower counts as part of our work to make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.”

Read more about the changes in a recent announcement on the Twitter company blog.