50 Cent, Ashton Kutcher and Nicki Minaj biggest losers in Twitter purge
Celebs and influencers were left with bruised egos on Thursday after Twitter officially began eliminating suspect accounts from its platform, a move that’s led to decreased follower counts for users.
According to data culled by Socialbakers, Twitter itself took the biggest hit. Following the purge, Twitter’s own account lost 7.8 million followers, a 12.4% decrease.
But Hollywood’s biggest names were not spared: rapper 50 Cent lost more than 650,000 followers, a 6.3% drop. Ashton Kutcher wasn’t far behind with a 5.9% decrease, losing more than one million of his followers. Nicki Minaj also lost more than one million of her followers due to the change.
A number of other stars, including Ashley Tisdale, Ludacris, Charlie Sheen, Eminem, Queen Latifah, Kelly Roland and Tyra Banks, lost more than 5% of their following.
Other stars fared better despite losing even more followers. While Katy Perry lost nearly three million - the most of any celebrity account - the drop only knocked her overall following down by 2.6%, and she still remains the most followed person on Twitter with a whopping 107 million followers.
Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, former President Barack Obama and Taylor Swift all lost upwards of two million followers post-purge, knocking each of their follower counts down by roughly 3%.
Twitter’s clean-up comes as social platforms face increasing pressure from advertisers to curb fraud. While fake followers, bots and spam inflate follower counts, they make it increasingly difficult for brands to know whether or not their ads are reaching real people. It’s particularly problematic on Instagram, where influencers often chase large follower counts in hopes of making deals with brands to tout their products.
“The fact that Twitter is taking steps to remove fake accounts is sending a message that they have become more vigilant about eliminating illegitimate activity on the platform,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief executive of Socialbakers, in a statement. “This is a step in the right direction as Twitter shows its commitment to delivering an authentic, ‘digital pollution’ free environment for both marketers and users.”
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