Twitter is beginning to pull inactive and locked accounts from users' follower counts — a move that's already costing prominent users like President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE and former President Obama tens of thousands of followers.
Trump had lost about 100,000 of his roughly 53.4 million Twitter followers as of Tuesday night, The Washington Post reported, while Obama had lost about 400,000 of his 104 million followers during the same period of time.
The drop in followers came shortly before Twitter formally announced Wednesday that it would start removing “locked accounts” from follower counts as part of a push "to build trust and encourage healthy conversation on Twitter."
Twitter said the accounts are locked after the company detects “sudden changes in account behavior.” Those actions include tweeting out a large number of unsolicited replies, sharing misleading links or being blocked by a large number of users that have been mentioned by the account, according to the company.
“Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop,” Twitter's lead counsel Vijaya Gadde wrote. “We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation."
This is Twitter's latest move to address fake or suspicious accounts. The Post reported last week that the company has recently cracked down on the accounts, suspending more than 70 million accounts in May and June.