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Donald Trump Lost 340,000 Followers After Twitter Purged a Bunch of Suspicious Accounts

President Donald Trump addresses a press conference on the second day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Brussels on Thursday.
President Donald Trump addresses a press conference on the second day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Brussels on Thursday.
Ludovic Marin/Getty Images

If you’re reading this, congratulations: You have survived the Twitter purge. On Wednesday, the service announced that, as part of its effort to clean up the famously troll- and bot-infested platform, it would remove accounts that had been locked for suspicious activity—and adjust users’ follower accounts accordingly. So, OK, your survival was never really in question; it’s your follower account that may have taken a hit. Twitter said most people could expect to “see a change of four followers or fewer” but that “others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop.”

Twitter’s prediction seems to have proved correct. President Donald Trump lost about 100,000 followers, and former President Barack Obama lost 400,000. Twitter’s own follower count declined 7 million. Closer to home, Slate’s Twitter account is now down about 30,000. Variety crunched the numbers to see how the purge affected the top 10 most followed accounts on the platform. YouTube’s account looked to have been the hardest hit of the bunch, having lost 2 million followers (2.8 percent), while Rihanna was least affected, losing 0.6 percent, or about 560,000, of her followers. This seems right: It stands to reason that Rihanna’s coolness would be among the least dependent on fake followers.

Update, July 13, 2018, at 11:22 a.m.: The numbers have continued to fall, and we now have a more recent account of the damage, via the New York Times. Trump lost 340,000 followers. Obama lost 3 million. Rihanna is down 2 million. Variety has since updated its numbers as well.