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Tech & Science Twitter users are about to lose followers. Here's why

05:30  12 july  2018
05:30  12 july  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

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Twitter users can expect a reduction in followers from this week after Twitter announced plans to begin deleting locked accounts from followers .

Here ' s Why . Written by Amanda Zantal-Wiener. The majority of users , says Gadde, will lose a maximum of four followers -- but those with a significantly higher following , like celebrities or major verified brands, might see a major reduction in these numbers.

a close up of a mans face: People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in Warsaw© REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in Warsaw One casualty of Twitter's campaign to make its platform "healthy": your follower count (and potentially, your ego).

Users of the social media platform can expect a reduction in followers from this week after Twitter announced plans to begin removing tens of millions of accounts that have been locked for suspicious activity from people's follower counts.

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This forms part of the company's effort "to build trust and encourage healthy conversation", Twitter's trust and safety lead Vijaya Gadde said in a statement.

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There are plenty of reasons why you may be losing followers on Twitter . Some are because they’re bots (in which case, good riddance), or they’re genuinely not interested in your tweets (fine, let them go), but there are reasons for losing followers that you can work to fix. Here ’ s five.

Why am I losing Followers @ Twitter #TwitterLockout https Ppl are locked out of their accts. I was and had to verify to get back on. The lost follows will return as they verify. The issue here is the blanket ban imposed by twitter .

Profiles will experience varying impacts: the average user will see a drop of four or fewer followers, he claimed, while more popular accounts may take a bigger hit.

The Trump effect

Follower counts have become a proxy for status, so users may be less than thrilled by changes made to a competitive metric.

Tama Leaver, an associate professor in internet studies at Curtin University, predicted the move to delete locked accounts could prove upsetting for some users.

Nevertheless, he believes that concentrating on safety and transparency overgrowing its subscribers is an important step for Twitter.

"For the longest time, the only numbers that really mattered [to Twitter] were growth, because they didn't have that much of it," he said.

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The social media platform has just announced that it’ s removing locked accounts from users ’ follower count. What does this mean? Donald Trump, for example, reportedly lost 100,000 followers due to this Twitter purge.

Unfortunately for people who revel in their numbers, they are about to lose their followers . Twitter has announced that they are going to cancel some accounts that have been blocked by other users as disruptive and accounts that have not been active for a long time.

"If instinctively, when we're using Twitter, we think that things are reliable ... I think that means that we're more likely to invest in Twitter's original value, which was its immediacy."

Like Facebook and Google, Twitter faced tough questions following the 2016 US presidential election over the spread of misinformation and the potential hijacking of its platform by foreign operatives.

In a series of tweets in March, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted the company had not always proactively tackled bad actors on its platform and called for proposals to help it measure its "health".

In recent months, it has made a number of announcements aimed at cleaning up the site, including hiding "disruptive" tweets.

Twitter has also notified at least 1.4 million people who interacted with accounts potentially run by the Internet Research Agency — an online propaganda organisation linked to the Russian government, the company announced in January.

Twitter follower counts drop after a change in how they are counted

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The move follows users reportedly inflating their followers on Twitter with automated or fake accounts, buying the appearance of social influence to bolster their political activism, business endeavours or entertainment careers.

We explore why your followers might be hitting that unfollow button at record speed. Search. Get exclusive content every fortnight! Click here to subscribe. Losing followers on Instagram? Is it them, or is it you?

The locked account purge

Unlike a bot, locked accounts may have once been run by a real person.

But they are locked by Twitter if they start to behave strangely — tweeting hundreds of "unsolicited" replies or mentions, the platform explained, or tweeting "misleading" links, among other signs that could indicate an account has been hacked or compromised.

The owner of the account can have the profile unlocked if they confirm it with Twitter, and change their password. But now those accounts that have remained locked and unclaimed will be removed from people's follower counts.

Twitter is also fighting bots on the platform, and suspended more than 70 million accounts thought to be fake or suspicious in May and June, the Washington Post recently reported.

As the outlet noted, the removal of accounts generally raises questions about the number of active (human) users Twitter has.

In its financial results from quarter one of 2018, the company said it had 336 million monthly active users.

On Twitter, the company's chief financial officer Ned Segal clarified on Monday that most accounts Twitter reviews are not included in its user metrics, as they "have not been active on the platform for 30 days or more, or we catch them at sign up and they are never counted".

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Why ? They’re bots. Other users might notice this and lose trust in your brand—preventing you from gaining new followers that might actually become customers. Here ’ s a 7-step guide to turning your employees into advocates for your brand. 40. Use the Twitter algorithm to your advantage.

Trump, Obama and other high-profile Twitter users could see a ‘significant drop’ in followers . Here ’ s why . Twitter appeared to be getting a head start on the purge Tuesday night: President Trump lost about 100,000 of his 53.4 million followers , and former president Barack Obama lost about 400,000

Twitter said removing locked accounts from followers would not impact monthly active users, as locked accounts that have not reset their password for more than one month are excluded from these figures.

During an earnings call in April however, Mr Segal said initiatives cracking down on bad actors might impact its active subscriber numbers.

"We're always going to do the right thing to make sure that the service is great for those that should be on it and that's going to be removing spamming and suspicious accounts whenever we can and we continue to improve with that," he said.

Ultimately, Twitter users who see their followers drop will have the cold comfort of knowing those accounts that remain are now more likely to be flesh and blood.

"Twitter carving itself out as a space of authenticity is a good thing," Dr Leaver said.

"In the face of being synonymous with [Donald] Trump at the moment, this attempt to make it into space where discourse, even debate, is at least between identifiably human actors rather than bots ... is a really important move."

Spotify users still can't block followers, but that could change .
Spotify isn't as much of a haven from harassment as many might like. Since the service shares your plays with followers by default, it's possible for harassers to keep up with your listening habits and exploit that to their advantage (say, by finding out when you're in a sad mood). The company has remained quiet on the prospect of a blocking feature in response to this, but it now appears to be more receptive to the idea. BuzzFeed News has discovered that Spotify recently labeled a years-old request for a user blocking feature as a "good idea.

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