Twitter sweeps 'locked' accounts from follower tally

July 11, 2018
Twitter users may see reduced follower counts after changes made by the social network to stop tallying accounts which may have been compromised

Twitter said Wednesday users are likely to see "follower" numbers drop as the service stops adding in potentially dubious or fraudulent accounts.

The social network said it would make the change by removing from followers any accounts which have been "locked" after sudden changes in behavior, which may signal the people who opened them may no longer be in control.

"This week, we'll be removing these locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally," Twitter said in a blog post.

"As a result, the number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down."

The San Francisco-based service said it reaches out to owners of locked accounts to confirm all is well and have them reset passwords.

In the meantime, locked accounts were kept in tallies of other Twitter users they "followed."

Twitter said most of these accounts "were created by real people" but that it locks accounts if it cannot confirm that the original person who opened the account is still in charge.

Twitter expected most users to see follower counts ebb by four or less, with "a more significant drop" for people with large follower numbers.

"We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted for public conversation," the San Francisco-based company said.

Reasons for accounts being locked include tweeting large numbers of unsolicited replies or firing off "misleading" links. Twitter said that it sometimes locks accounts if ranks of users block them, or if stolen passwords are posted online.

"Until we confirm that everything is okay with the account, we lock it, which makes them unable to tweet or see ads," Twitter said.

"In most cases, these accounts were created by but we cannot confirm that the original person who opened the account still has control and access to it."

The impetus for the update was that follower counts often serve as an indicator of credibility, according to Twitter.

Explore further: Twitter to confirm new accounts in spam fight

Related Stories

Twitter to confirm new accounts in spam fight

June 27, 2018

Twitter on Tuesday said it will begin asking for email addresses or phone numbers to confirm new accounts as part of a battle against manipulation, particularly by automated bots.

Twitter adds more safety tools, will curb abusive accounts

March 1, 2017

Twitter is adding more tools to curb abuse on its service as part of its ongoing effort to protect users from hate and harassment. Among other things, the service will attempt to identify offenders on its own, even if no ...

Recommended for you

Pushing lithium ion batteries to the next performance level

December 13, 2018

Conventional lithium ion batteries, such as those widely used in smartphones and notebooks, have reached performance limits. Materials chemist Freddy Kleitz from the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Vienna and international ...

Uber filed paperwork for IPO: report

December 8, 2018

Ride-share company Uber quietly filed paperwork this week for its initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported late Friday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.