Two leading Kenyan social media influencers have been hit hard by a move by Twitter to weed out fake followers.
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.
PAID HUGE AMOUNTS
The two are among the so-called influencers who are paid huge amounts to post content on their social media.
Twitter made the move as part of its "ongoing and global effort to build trust and encourage healthy conversation on Twitter".
"Follower counts are a visible feature, and we want everyone to have confidence that the numbers are meaningful and accurate," said Twitter in a blog.
The microblogging site explained that it has been locking accounts when it detected sudden changes in account behavior.
"In these situations, we reach out to the owners of the accounts and unless they validate the account and reset their passwords, we keep them locked with no ability to log in. This week, we'll be removing these locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally," said Twitter.
It had warned that as a result of the move, the number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down.
ACCURACY AND TRANSPARENCY
"Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop. We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation," explained Twitter.
Moral cop Ezekiel Mutua followers have also reduced from 106,000 to 34,000.
The two bloggers were trolled on Twitter after they lost numbers.
Nyakundi ameteremka from 1.2M followers to 711k followers. Xtiandela from 1M to 543k 🤣🤣🤣🤣.
- Milton (@Mwangala_) July 12, 2018
Thank you @Twitter. Now @xtiandela the King of Bots has been humbled from 1m+ Followers to 543k. Don't Worry, You can Turn On my Notifications to Gain Real Followers. 😂😂😂😂
- BRAVIN™ (@ItsBravin) July 12, 2018
Both @C_NyaKundiH & @xtiandela have lost a combined total of 1M followers. How many Bots and Fake ones did they purchase to inflate their accounts!? pic.twitter.com/PUEnueZiAO
- Kambodian™🇰🇪 (@MwendeCharles) July 12, 2018
The changes also affected other individuals globally.
Former US President Obama lost 2.5 million followers; Trump saw his follower count drop by roughly 400,000 people and Kim Kardashian unloaded 1.7 million followers in the last day.