Trolls beware: your Twitter account is about to be rendered anonymous.
The social media giant announced overnight it has begun purging dodgy, suspicious and dormant accounts from users’ follower counts. Which means famous people will have less fans (or fools) in their online slipstream
Twitter’s house clean is a reaction to the seemingly endless torrent of abuse and generally poor behaviour carried out by by desktop warriors each day on its platform.
The social platform copped a load of flack last year when it doubled its 140-character limit, a change few people wanted, but failed to address the more immediate issue of cyber-bulling, or the absence of an edit button.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey heard the criticism. In a message (tweeted, of course) earlier this year, Dorsey acknowledged his company’s failure to sideline its worst offenders, noting users had “witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers.”
And with that, Twitter pledged to help improve “the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation.”
We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress.
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— jack (@jack) March 1, 2018
With this latest development, Twitter users should start to see their follower counts diminish by week’s end, while celebrity accounts could experience a sharp drop off.
Some observers suggest Barack Obama’s account should dwindle by 400,000 followers, while Donald Trump should lose about 100,000. All of which begs a mighty big question: how many of those accounts were following the former POTUS to troll him, and how many of Trump’s now-absent followers were actual trolls who just happened to be his supporters. Have fun with that.