Why Do You Keep Losing Followers On Twitter?

Last Update: Sep 29, 2018

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On the night of Wednesday 15 to Thursday 16 August, the social network has proceeded to yet another "purge" of fake accounts and other robots that often populate your community of followers. Let's have a look at a hunt for "fake" that intensifies ...

Twitter is chasing fake accounts

Since the beginning of the year, and in particular since the entry into force of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in May, several thousand fake accounts have been deleted in many countries on the social network.

Did you lose dozens of followers on Twitter last night? Do not worry, it's not because of your political opinions, or your point of view on why Tiger Woods' new cap could be the worst horror in the legend of golf!

No, this "purge" is due to the will of the social network, to get rid of thousands, not to say millions of "fake" accounts, which often pollute the sphere and in particular your community, without you knowing it.

This hunt for false accounts has intensified in recent weeks. Indeed, Twitter has taken advantage of school holidays to do the cleaning especially in the night of July 12 to 13, and then from July 30 to July 31 - again removing thousands of accounts.

Barack Obama lost 2.9 million subscribers in July

Some, actually real followers were even temporarily blocked, the time that their holders agree to verify their identity, by communicating their telephone number for validation (of the account) by SMS. The operation was even renewed on the night of Wednesday 15 to Thursday, August 16, cleaning the network again.

It must be said that Twitter also fights against "bots", these fake accounts automated by robots, which send posts on a large scale. So if the average Twitterer (or Tweeter) only lost a few followers on average during these regular purges, global accounts have suffered much more from this cleanup.

According to the New York Times, Katy Perry, the most-watched personality on the social network has lost nearly three million subscribers in the night of July 12-13. It was slightly less for Barack Obama (-2.9M) or Oprah Winfrey (-1.4M), other stars of the network of the little blue bird.

But that's nothing compared to the official account of Twitter, which itself saw flying 7.7 million followers in one night, that's 12% of its total audience.

Fight against the purchases of "false followers"

In the end, the first goal is to fight against the spread of fake news, which invaded the various networks including Facebook and Twitter, during the US and French presidential elections. But the idea is also to proscribe the purchase of fake followers, a practice that has spread rapidly in recent years.

Companies based in India or Pakistan, for a few hundred dollars sometimes, offered to "pay their community". It will be much more difficult now, to buy its notoriety and therefore its credibility on Twitter, what some influencers were risking doing so far.

Finally, there is an economic issue that should not be overlooked, when we know that the network offers to "sponsor" tweets, that is to say, to buy the audience. How to justify to pay to reach a number of people, when 10-15% of them are actually imaginary?

Most importantly, a recent Washington Post article estimated that 70 million accounts were deleted in May and June alone. A bad signal for the markets, knowing that the social network has long been on the hot seat. Yet Twitter had finally managed to earn money in the first quarter of 2018, after 11 years of losses.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post.

Expert in social media marketing

Recent Comments


Thanks for sharing, John.

Hey John,
Thanks for this blog. That information was very interesting.

Tried and True



This is really good to know. I don't tweet much but I know that there's been a clean-up effort going on. There are so many people who engage in black hat marketing I'm not surprised. These so-called marketing experts who promise tons of followers are suspect in my opinion.


You are so right about this. it happened to me in July because of someone who was using the same username as I was using. Because of this, I had to provide proof of information I signed with. It is a good thing I was not telling a lie when I signed up.

My account was blocked for a while and I lost a lot of followers. Twitter said someone with the same username was not following the rules so they had to be sure before I could use my account again. Since then everything is working fine, but now I am getting an email from them sometimes to find out if I had logged in my account on such a date and time.

Thanks for sharing and all the best to you.

Thanks for sharing your misfortune Dolores. Once, one of my big accounts was blocked for many months because someone abused of it somehow. Even though I explained to them that it was not me, the block was only lifted months later. And that was long before we had all these hacking problems on social platforms. I guess that if it was now, it would be completely deleted.

Thanks for the info!

You are welcome Marcus.

A great post for those unaware of social media fake followers. Thankfully I lost none.. well no huge amount but all social media followers play a follow.. do not follow game. In my opinion it is a total waste of time. I have never unfollowed anyone I have followed because I followed for a reason.
Many bloggers will follow you in the hope of a recipricol refollow. If you do follow them then they unfollow you. If you dont they unfollow you anyway.
The aim of many people seems to be to have more followers than those they follow... what a stupid game.
With Grace and Gratitude

You are right Karen, many Tweeters only follow you in the hope that you are going to follow them back so that they can show a huge number of followers on their account, so that they can sell traffic, or worse, sell followers. Because of that Twitter users are experiencing an overload of information resulting in Twitter becoming less productive than it used to be.

Thanks John!
I hadn’t been following the news on the “cleanup” of false accounts. Of all social media Twitter is the one on which I am least active. So I won’t be missing those fake accounts!
I appreciate your sharing this information.

You are welcome KyleAnn. Small accounts shouldn't suffer too much, provided they know how and where they collected their followers. I have several Twitter accounts for my businesses totalling over 300K followers, but I regularly "clean" them up myself, removing followers who have been inactive for more than 2 weeks, and have never, ever bought followers (last thing to do), so I have not suffered from the big cleanup.

Glad to hear you haven't suffered John. Thanks again for the information.

Most interesting!

Good to know!

I've been working on just getting my site going, so hadn't paid much attention to this side of affiliate marketing. Thanks for the education!

You are most welcome Nancy!

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