The firm said the removal of locked accounts – believed to number in the millions – is part of effort to “improve the health” of conversation on the platform by deleting suspicious and inactive accounts. Singer Katy Perry is the most followed person on Twitter, with 110 million followers. “Over the years, we’ve locked accounts when we detected sudden changes in account behaviour,” Twitter spokeswoman Vijaya Gadde said. As a result, the number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down.” Twitter said the accounts differ from spam or bots - another area where the platform is clamping down - because locked accounts are predominately created by real people, but Twitter is no longer able to confirm they are still in control of the account. “This specific update is focused on followers because it is one of the most visible features on our service and often associated with account credibility. Once an account is locked, it cannot tweet, like or retweet and it is not served ads.” Twitter said removing the accounts would not affect the site’s figures on daily or monthly active users, as locked accounts that have not reset their password for a month are not counted in the statistics. Unilever chief marketing officer Keith Weed said Twitter’s stance should be applauded. “Our digital ecosystem is being polluted by a growing number of fake user accounts, so Twitter’s commitment to cleaning up the digital space should be welcomed wholeheartedly by everyone, from users of the platforms to creators and advertisers. It shows the market is moving in the right direction. “Greater transparency leads to greater authenticity, which in turn builds trust.
Tens of millions of suspicious accounts will be removed in the cull, with up to 6 per cent of all accounts potentially deleted.
Locked accounts are restricted from posting by the social media site when it detects activity such as tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies or mentions, and must be verified by owners before they can be unlocked.
The firm said the removal of locked accounts – believed to number in the millions – is part of effort to “improve the health” of conversation on the platform by deleting suspicious and inactive accounts.
Twitter has been under pressure to take action on nefarious accounts and malicious content following criticism over its policing of the platform.
It said most users will see a follower count drop of four followers or fewer, but others with larger followings may experience a more significant drop.
Singer Katy Perry is the most followed person on Twitter, with 110 million followers.