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You May Notice a Drop In Twitter Followers. Here’s Why

July 11, 2018, 7:06 PM UTC

If you just noticed a sudden drop in the number of your Twitter followers, don’t fret.

The online messaging company said Wednesday that its users would likely experience a drop in their followers because it’s no longer counting locked accounts as part of that number.

It’s one of a number of steps Twitter is taking to cleanse itself of bad actors on the messaging service.

“Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop,” wrote Twitter’s legal, policy and trust and safety lead Vijaya Gadde in a corporate blog post. “We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.”

Gadde said that Twitter (TWTR) typically locks user accounts if the company notices “sudden changes in account behavior.” These changes “could include Tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies or mentions, Tweeting misleading links, or if a large number of accounts block the account after mentioning them.”

The executive also explained that locked accounts differ from spam accounts or bots because real people actually created them, but that Twitter “cannot confirm that the original person who opened the account still has control and access to it.”

Additionally, Gadde points out that the new Twitter change should not impact Twitter’s various business metrics, like monthly or daily active users. That’s likely a response to appease worried investors, who earlier this week caused Twitter’s stock to fall about 9% in response to a Washington Post story that said the company was suspending 70 million accounts, which could impact its monthly active user statistics.

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Twitter CFO Ned Segal later said in a tweet that “most accounts we remove are not included in our reported metrics as they have not been active on the platform for 30 days or more, or we catch them at sign up and they are never counted.”

So far, Wall Street investors are generally ambivalent about Twitter’s new changes that affect Twitter users’ follower count. Twitter shares are relatively flat in midday trading on Wednesday at $43.85.