Starting tomorrow, many Twitter users will see their number of followers decrease. During the last years, the social network has frozen tens of millions of accounts when detecting in them “significant changes in behavior”. The owners of these accounts have seen their activity frozen waiting to confirm their identity and reset the password. The novelty is that from tomorrow all those avatars, which will not be removed from the platform, will disappear from the list of other users’ followers.
“The numbers of followers are visible to everyone, are associated with the credibility of an account and are used as a reference of relevance,” say sources of technology. Therefore, “in an exercise of transparency” will make those numbers “more accurate and reliable”. “We want to make sure that all users can trust their number of followers,” they say.
“Most users will see a reduction of about four followers, but others with more followers may experience a more significant decline,” they say from Twitter. They do not offer data of the total of accounts that will be affected, but they indicate that it will affect 6% of the total followers of the social network, which today totals 336 million users worldwide.
What changes in behavior mean that Twitter blocks an account? Mainly three: tweet a large volume of unsolicited responses or mentions; tweet misleading links and the fact that a large number of users block an account after it has mentioned them. “If we detect combinations of emails or passwords of other services published on the Internet and we believe that this information may put the security of the account at risk, we also freeze it,” they point from the platform.
Twitter wants to make it clear that these accounts are not spam or bots ( profiles for automated mass dissemination). “The main difference is that they were created by real people,” they explain. The problem is that they have not been able to confirm that the users who opened them still have “control and access” to them.
The technology ensures that the withdrawal of blocked accounts from the numbers of followers will not affect the active users that the platform accumulates. All accounts in which the owner does not confirm their identity disappear from their statistics in a period of one month.