President Uhuru Loses Followers, Raila Gains In Twitter Purge

Uhuru-Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta retired to bed on Thursday night with more followers on Twitter than he woke up to on Friday.

His Twitter account was not spared by the purge on “fake” accounts that has seen popular personalities globally lose even up to a million followers.

The social media platform is removing locked accounts from follower counts to increase credibility.

Uhuru, who is the most followed Kenyan on Twitter, had 3,234,935 followers as of July 12 but lost 16,071 of them in the purge. Deputy President William Ruto lost 7,211.

ODM leader Raila Odinga, however gained followers, from 1,923,245 on July 12 to 1,923,428.

Controversial bloggers Cyprian Nyakundi and Christian Dela have each seen their numbers whittle down by half overnight.

Nyakundi’s followers have reduced from a whopping 1.2 million to 696,000 while Dela’s numbers now stand at 521,000 from an impressive one million.Uhuru-Kenyatta

Some of the losers are among so-called influencers who are paid huge amounts of money to post content on their pages.

‘@MisterseunPR’ said: “Just lost over a thousand followers. Twitter purge doing the most.”

Jemo Munuhe, who lost threem, said: “Fake it till you make it on these Twitter streets.”

‘@KinyanBoy’ reported losing 300 and noted that the numbers will decline for as long as the purge continues.

In a statement, Twitter said most people will see a change of four followers or fewer and that larger follower counts will experience more significant drops.

“We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.”

The company said follower counts may continue to change more regularly as part of ongoing work to proactively identify and challenge problematic accounts.

Twitter said owners of accounts will not be able to log in unless they validate the accounts and reset passwords.

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.

US singer Katy Perry, the most-followed user on Twitter, and Lady Gaga lost about 2.5 million followers.

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