Trudeau, Harper, Singh lose thousands of followers as Twitter purges fake accounts
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is shown at Twitter Canada's headquarters during a Q&A session on Feb. 12, 2016. (Twitter / Justin Trudeau)
Published Friday, July 13, 2018 2:04PM EDT
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former prime minister Stephen Harper, and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh's follower accounts have all lost thousands of Twitter followers, as the social media giant moves to purge fake accounts.
Twitter announced July 11 that it would be removing accounts that have been locked for suspicious activity, as part of an ongoing effort to "proactively identify and challenge problematic accounts." The company predicted most users might see a modest impact, but that the loss would be amplified for accounts with large follower counts.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was the only federal leader to actually gain followers over the last few days, up 200 from the time the purge was announced. It is possible further changes could come as the process continues this week, and over time.
While it cannot be said for certain that the fluctuation in follower counts is attributable to the follower purge, CTVNews.ca's analysis of these accounts show there has been some considerable change among some of the country's most-followed politicians and political accounts.
Twitter Canada would not comment on individual accounts, citing privacy considerations.
The volume of losses from Trudeau and Harper's accounts may have something to do with having millions of followers, compared to most other top political accounts in Canada that average around a few hundred thousand followers.
Compared to what some media outlets are reporting other major international political figures lost, Canadian politicians fared relatively well, with most of the top-followed accounts losing between 3,000 and 1,000 followers.
According to Variety, U.S. President Donald Trump lost around 300,000 followers, ten times as many as Trudeau; Gulf News says India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi lost 270,000 followers; and former U.S. president Barack Obama lost more than 2 million followers, according to Time.
Graphics by Nick Kirmse / CTVNews.ca