Donald Trump, Katy Perry Hit by Twitter Follower Purge

The president lost just short of 196,000 followers on Thursday after Twitter began removing "frozen accounts" from users' follower counts.

Twitter is making good on its pledge to purge frozen accounts from its users' follower counts. 

Several public figures, including President Donald Trump and singer Katy Perry, saw big declines in their Twitter followings on Thursday after the new policy went into effect.

Perry, who has the title of most-followed person on Twitter, also stood to lose the most followers — and she did. She had 109.6 million followers on Wednesday but by midday Thursday, that count had dropped by 2.8 million to 106.8 million. 

Twitter superuser Trump lost just short of 196,000 followers, bringing his count to 53.2 million. It's worth nothing, however, that his official @POTUS account has gained followers since the purge began and now sits at 23.6 million. 

Twitter announced its plan to crack down on fake followers on Wednesday. In a blog post, the company said that any frozen accounts — which are locked because of sudden changes in behavior — would no longer be included in follower counts. Per Twitter, most users would only experience a change of up to four followers, but some larger accounts were expected to experience large drops in their followings. 

Others who saw big changes included Justin Bieber, the No. 2 most-followed person on the platform, and Barack Obama, who both lost around 2 million followers. Rihanna, meanwhile, lost 856,000 followers, and Taylor Swift lost 1.8 million. 

It is unclear whether the full scope of the purge has already been felt or whether Twitter users will continue to see a drop in their follower counts. 

Twitter's changes come after some of its users have come under fire for artificially boosting their followings by purchasing followers. A New York Times investigation from January revealed that many public figures had engaged in the practice. 

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