If you have seen a sudden drop in your Twitter followers it’s not probably because someone unfollowed you, it’s because Twitter started crackdown against fake accounts and bots.
Twitter has recently announced that it has been removing “dubious or fraudulent accounts” as users are likely to see a drop in the number of their followers. Last week various reports claimed that Twitter had suspended around 70 million fake accounts in months of May and June. And now Twitter says that this week they will be “removing locked accounts from follower counts” to all profiles across the globe.
An account is locked on Twitter when it shows an unusual spammy behavior i.e. sudden increase in tweets, multiple spontaneous mentions, tweets with misleading links and many users reporting against that account. Even when Twitter suspends these accounts, they still are visible in a user’s followers count but not anymore. As the Twitter‘s Trust & Safety Lead Vijaya Gadde stated in a blog post;
“Follower counts are a visible feature, and we want everyone to have confidence that the numbers are meaningful and accurate… 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.”
Twitter is taking these steps to curb the rising bot activity on its platform. However, Twitter clearly states that locked accounts are not necessarily bot accounts. In most cases, accounts were “created by real people” but Twitter cannot confirm that the “original person who opened the account still has control and access to it.”
An account remains locked until Twitter confirms that “everything is okay with the account”. If a user is not able to retrieve his/her account, it may be permanently suspended.