Twitter is currently cracking down on fake accounts, and has already began purging millions of followers from users accounts. For those who are followed by suspicious profiles, a.k.a. bots and users who bought followers, they’ll notice a significant drop in followers throughout this platform-wide purge.

 

 

Selling followers to users accounts has become a thriving business. A New York Times investigation found out a Florida company sold fake followers and other social media engagement to hundreds of thousands of users around the world, including politicians, models, actors and authors.

A reason for buying followers might be because a strong following on social media can create marketing and advertising opportunities for users. But with this new crackdown, most users will now have a profile that reflects their actual following.

The social media website’s crackdown is in part due to the abuse of social media by troll accounts that seek to influence policy. Take for example the 2016 Presidential campaign, where the U.S. government found that thousands of social media profiles were created to spread fake news about then candidate Hillary Clinton.  The FBI is currently investigating this use of social media to influence the election.

Twitter Vice President for Trust and Safety, Del Harvey, told the New York Times, “We don’t want to incentivize the purchase of followers and fake accounts to artificially inflate follower counts, because it’s not an accurate measure of someone’s influence on the platform or influence in the world.” He continued by adding, “We think it’s a really important and meaningful metric, and we want people to have confidence that these are engaged users that are following other accounts.”

Twitter has not released any statistics on how many accounts were fake, but the number is expected to be in the tens of millions. The Washington Post reported that Twitter suspended 70 million fake accounts in May and June.

 

Good luck with your social metrics today, ladies and gents!