WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama lost huge numbers of Twitter followers today as the social media company began its promised purge of millions of locked and inactive accounts.
Company representatives have said accounts of all sizes will be affected as Twitter purges users its “frozen” for exhibiting abusive behavior or signs of being a bot.
Obama, who boasts the most Twitter followers of any former or current head of state, lost around 2.3 million followers from his @BarackObama handle — from 103.6 million yesterday to 101.3 million this afternoon.
For notoriously prolific tweeter Trump, the losses were noticeable but less severe. As of this posting, his personal @realDonaldTrump account had lost roughly 320,000 followers, from 53.4 million to 53.1 million. The official presidential account, @POTUS, saw a lesser drop of about 60,000 followers.
Congressional leaders, whose follower tallies pale in comparison to those of Obama and Trump, saw more muted losses.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shed 2,400 followers, going from roughly 577,100 to 574,700. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer lost roughly 7,000 of his 1,465,000 followers, bringing his total to around 1,458,000.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi respectively lost about 40,000 and 17,000 followers, in both cases amounting to around 1 percent of their follower bases.