The social-media company Twitter has warned that its crackdown on fake accounts means users will have fewer followers.
When Twitter detects sudden changes in behaviour, like spammy tweeting patterns or sharing of misleading web links, it contacts the owner to confirm control of the account.
If the owner doesn’t respond and reset their password, Twitter locks the account. This week, the company said it will remove these from profiles, reducing the number of followers users have.
“Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop,” Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of legal, policy, trust and safety, wrote in a blog. “Follower counts are a visible feature, and we want everyone to have confidence that the numbers are meaningful and accurate.”
The company recently said it’s identifying almost 10 million dubious accounts a week and is putting all accounts through a security check. The stock slumped earlier this week on concern the crackdown would dent user growth.
While it excludes spam accounts in reported user data, Twitter noted early this year that monthly active user numbers would be “negatively impacted” by efforts to expunge fake accounts.