Twitter Defends Removing ‘Fake Accounts’ After Trump Complains About Losing Followers

Trump isn't the only person who has been affected by Twitter's aims to reduce bots, trolls, and suspicious accounts by foreign governments.

The exterior of Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Trump isn't the only person who has been affected by Twitter's aims to reduce bots, trolls, and suspicious accounts by foreign governments.

Is social media site Twitter taking action specifically against the president in order to make his follower count smaller? Not at all, the company said.

Twitter defended itself against claims made by President Donald Trump on Friday, in which the commander in chief said that the site had purposely reduced the number of followers that his online account had.

Trump even suggested that the company had potentially done so due to political biases that they held against him, according to previous reporting from the Inquisitr.

“Twitter has removed many people from my account,” Trump said, “and, more importantly, they have seemingly done something that makes it much harder to join – they have stifled growth to a point where it is obvious to all. A few weeks ago it was a Rocket Ship, now it is a Blimp! Total Bias?”

Twitter defended itself shortly after, writing in its own statement that the purge of user accounts was for the benefit of actual users on the site. It was a move that didn’t just affect Trump, they added, but also other users with large followings.

“Our focus is on the health of the service, and that includes work to remove fake accounts to prevent malicious behavior,” said the company’s statement, according to reporting from the Hill. “Many prominent accounts have seen follower counts drop, but the result is higher confidence that the followers they have are real, engaged people.”

The loss in followers shouldn’t be that huge of a surprise to anyone, let alone the president — earlier this year, Twitter announced that it was going to start removing user accounts belonging to trolls, bots, and foreign entities trying to influence U.S. elections, in an effort to make the site more honest and reliable for information. In the months of May and June alone, more than 70 million such accounts were removed.

Trump was not the only prominent individual to lose followers in the purge. According to the Irish Times, former President Barack Obama lost millions of followers during the initial phase of Twitter’s plan to weed out unwanted users.

This isn’t the first time that Trump has accused the social media site of taking actions against conservatives. In July, Trump also accused Twitter of “shadow banning” right-wing voices on the site. “We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! Many complaints,” Trump wrote in a tweet complaining about the practice. Some contend that Twitter never actually did conduct shadowbans, according to reporting from New York Magazine.