, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 13 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto are among Kenyans who have lost a sizeable chunk of social media following, in an ongoing purge by social network giant Twitter to weed out dubious accounts.
Kenyatta and Ruto lost 16,098 and 7,465 followers respectively as at 2:30 pm on Friday when Capital FM News last checked the number of followers they had on Twitter.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga and his 2017 presidential running mate Kalonzo Musyoka had also lost a significant number of followers at 11,159 and 3,387 respectively.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi lost 286 followers.
Renowned bloggers Cyprian Nyakundi and Xtiandela were the top losers in the country—both registering a decline in followership by a whopping half a million.
While Nyakudi lost 593,379 followers, self-proclaimed trend setter – Xtiandela – had registered a loss of 567,044 followers by 2:30 on Friday.
Twitter had announced the cleanup on Wednesday in reforms it said were aimed at safeguarding the confidence in follower counts.
The social site had warned that users with larger follower counts will experience a significant drop it moved to delete invalidated accounts.
“Over the years, we’ve locked accounts when we detected sudden changes in account behavior. In these situations, we reach out to the owners of the accounts and unless they validate the account and reset their passwords, we keep them locked with no ability to log in,” Twitter announced on Wednesday.
“This week, we’ll be removing these locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally. As a result, the number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down,” it said, explaining that “Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop,” the public network warned.”
According to Twitter, the new measures are aimed at improving accuracy in a bid to make the site a “more trusted service for public conversation.”
Twitter explained that it had identified accounts with suspicious behavior, forming the basis of the elimination method.
“If we detect sudden changes in account behavior, we may lock the account and contact the owner to confirm they still have control of it,” the company stated.
“These sudden changes in account behavior 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,” it further explained.
In the international scene, United States President Donald Trump lost 326,118 followers on Thursday and later gained 5,339 followers on Friday.
Trump’s institutional account “POTUS” gained 8,339 followers on Thursday and lost 90,386 followers on Friday.
His predecessor Barack Obama gained 18,622 followers on Thursday and lost 2,357,631 on Friday.
In the regional front, Uganda’s Kaguta Museveni lost 2,590 followers on Thursday and gained 75 on Friday.
Rwanda’s Paul Kagame gained 483 followers on Thursday and lost 615,621 on Friday.