Jul 13, 2018

By the numbers: Big names lose massive numbers of followers in Twitter purge

The twitter logo. Photo: Leon Neal/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of high profile Twitter accounts from celebrities and politicians lost buckets of followers as Twitter deleted fake accounts and bots across the platform that were locked, reports CNN.

The details: Twitter removed these accounts in an effort to instill confidence and authenticity to its platform, per a blog post from Vijaya Gadde of Twitter. Accounts that were removed were locked as a result of sudden changes detected in account behavior. Most people saw a follower change of about four users, the post said, but some bigger names lost millions of followers.

  • President Trump lost 204,000 followers out of 53.3 million.
  • Former President Obama lost 2.4 million followers, which amounted to just 2% of his followers, per the Daily Beast.
    • Obama remains the third most followed person on the platform behind Katy Perry and Justin Bieber.
  • Katy Perry, the most followed person on Twitter, lost 3 million followers but still has 107 million.
  • Justin Bieber trails Perry but lost 2.7 million followers.
  • LeBron James lost 880,000 followers.
  • Bill gates lost 900,000 followers.
  • Oprah Winfrey lost 1.4 million followers.
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lost 230,000 followers.

Go deeper

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday, while Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 as of Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."