Uhuru, Ruto, Raila lose followers in Twitter purge.


President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are among the key personalities who lost some of their following, though marginally, in the ongoing offloading of dormant and fake followers by social media giant, Twitter.

President Kenyatta, who is among the most followed person on Twitter in Africa lost 16,071 of his 3,234,935 followers while Ruto unloaded 7,211 followers. He now has 1,968,355 followers.

NASA leader Raila Odinga saw his following fall from 1,933,993 to 1,923,295, losing 10,698 followers.

Among some of the biggest casualties of the purge include blogger Cyprian Nyakundi, KFCB CEO Ezekiel Mutua and social media influencer Xtian Dela who all lost a significant number of Twitter followers.

Nyakundi, who had a little over 1 million followers now has 696,000 followers. NRG radio presenter Dela was left with 521,000 followers from an impressive one million while the moral policeman Ezekiel was left with a meager 34,000 followers up from 106,000.

On the global front, President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama lost huge numbers of followers.

Obama, who boasts the most Twitter followers of any former or current head of state, lost around 2.3 million followers from his @BarackObama handle — from 103.6 million Wednesday to 101.3 million Thursday.

The @realDonaldTrump account had lost roughly 320,000 followers, from 53.4 million to 53.1 million. The official presidential account, @POTUS, saw a lesser drop of about 60,000 followers.

Oprah Winfrey, who sent her inaugural tweet in 2009, lost about 1.4 million followers between Wednesday and Thursday evening. Ellen DeGeneres lost 2 million, leaving her at 76.1 million followers.

Many celebrities, politicians and social media influencers found their Twitter followings knocked down a few digits Thursday as the company slashed tens of millions of suspicious accounts from users’ followers.

Aly Pavela, a Twitter spokeswoman, said the work of locking and eliminating accounts suspected to be fake will continue over the coming days. The company is taking action to restore trust in its platform.

Here are some of the prominent Kenyan tweeps and how many Followers they lost.
Uhuru Kenyatta – 3,234,177 – 3,218,766 – Lost – 15,411
Raila Odinga – 1,933,993, 1,923,295 – Lost 10,698
William Ruto – 1,968,055 – Lost 6,949
Jeff Koinange – 1,300,056 – 1,288,845 – Lost 11,211
Larry Madowo – 1,508,198 – Lost 7,835
Chris Kirubi – 1,023,679 – Lost 5,927
Barack Obama (Honourable mention) – 103,615,796 – 101,272,741 – Lost 2 Million Followers
Xtiandela – 1,087,889 – 520,841 – Lost 567,048
Cyprian Nyakundi – 1,228,942 – 695,554 – Lost 533,388
Miguna Miguna – 398,602 not lost any Follower (Yet)
Ezekiel Mutua – 100,202 – 34,165 – Lost 66,037
Citizen TV – 1,860,460 – 1,846,672 – Lost 13,788
NTV – 1,889,548 – 1,875,341 – Lost 14,207
Safaricom – 1,092,915 – Lost 8,230

Many users have inflated their followers with automated or fake accounts, buying the appearance of social influence to bolster their political activism, business endeavours or entertainment careers.

When the work is done, Twitter expects it will have reduced the total follower count on the platform by about 6 per cent, a substantial drop.

Twitter said Wednesday that it would no longer include Twitter accounts that it had frozen for suspicious or potentially fraudulent behaviour in the totals of followers listed on people's profiles. Someone's follower count is a key measure of online popularity and influence.

The internet has experienced this kind of bloodbath before. In 2014, during the Instagram Rapture, the Facebook-owned company slashed deactivated spam accounts and other accounts that violated its guidelines. 

Distraught users begged the company to stop decimating follower counts as socially media savvy celebrities such as Justin Bieber mourned the loss of millions of followers. 



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