South African politicians – and frequently controversial tweeters – Helen Zille and Julius Malema collectively lost roughly 50,000 followers this week in a Twitter purge.
Twitter started to delete inactive accounts to restore confidence in the follower numbers of users.
Parody Twitter account @AdvBarryRoux joked that “Twitter is working overtime on expropriating fake/inactive followers without compensation.”
“South Africa should take notes on [how to] expropriation of Land without compensation.”
Twitter is working overtime on expropriating fake/inactive followers without compensation. All those who bought fake followers will not be compensated when they are taken. South Africa should take notes on expropriation of Land without compensation ?? ?? ?? ?? pic.twitter.com/rSxe4OiOVC— Man's Not Barry Roux (@AdvBarryRoux) July 13, 2018
International celebrities such as Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Barack Obama, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Ellen Degeneres, and Cristiano Ronaldo saw drops of more than 2 million followers each.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Twitter said the culling of inactive Twitter accounts is being done to restore confidence in the follower numbers of users.
Inactive Twitter accounts are locked accounts where suspicious activity was detected, and the user failed to reactivate the account.
Twitter said the culling should not affect Twitter’s total active user number of roughly 330 million.
“Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop,” Twitter’s legal head Vijaya Gadde said.
“We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.”
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