Twitter's regular audit labelled a 'purge' by Trump supporters after losing followers

Edited By: Bharat Sharma WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 11, 2021, 05.21 PM(IST)

Donald Trump and Twitter Photograph:( WION )

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Twitter's task of checking whether real people use unverified accounts on the portal has created a ruckus among the supporters of Donald Trump, and many of his government officials

Following the riots at US Capitol on Wednesday, many major social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook restricted US President Donald Trump's reach on their websites. Twitter went a step further on Friday by permanently suspending Trump's account.

Now, many companies are undertaking audits to ascertain the veracity of users on their portals. As part of this routine exercise, Twitter regularly suspends accounts that may be "bots", or automated accounts that push out regulated content, which in many cases are used to propagate fake news.

Twitter's task of checking whether real people use unverified accounts on the portal has created a ruckus among the supporters of Donald Trump, and many of his government officials. A lot of US government officials have lost followers on the website, which they are now labelling an attack on the freedom of speech aimed at conservative voices, a claim which has been for long denied by both Twitter and Facebook.

Trump's involvement in the riots wasn't direct, but he had urged his followers to march to the Capitol on the same day, which ended up in death and destruction at the US Capitol, marking the first instance of violence during the transition period in between presidencies.

Also read: American agencies using facial recognition tools to nab US Capitol rioters

In response, Twitter released a statement claiming this exercise is undertaken regularly in a bid to "challenge accounts to confirm details like email and phone number. Until that info is confirmed, these accounts aren’t included in follower counts”.

Soon after the fluctuation in number, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted the following - “This is how you create an echo chamber”, attaching a picture proving he had lost 19,500 followers.

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Many Republican leaders and allies followed suit and made similar claims. Former Press Secretary to the Trump administration - Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed to have lost 50,000 followers. She further attacked "big tech" for "censoring" American voices.

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Matt Gaetz of Florida made similar claims but topped it off with a light remark about losing weight. 

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