SAN FRANCISCO — The Twitter follower purge has officially begun, and the most popular people on Twitter are a bit less popular than they used to be.
Two of the biggest losers were Twitter's most famous user, President Trump, who saw roughly 400,000 of his 53.4 million followers vanish, and Barack Obama, who bid farewell to more than 2 million.
Most people likely saw a drop of four followers or fewer, according to Twitter. But celebrities like Katy Perry experienced a far more dramatic decline. Perry, who had 110 million followers, now has 107 million. Kim Kardashian suffered more than her famous family members, dropping 1.7 million of her 60.2 million followers.
Twitter's own @twitter account shed millions of followers. Even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was not immune. He says he lost 200,000 of his 4 million followers.
Twitter said Wednesday that it would no longer include Twitter accounts that it had frozen for suspicious or potentially fraudulent behavior in the totals of followers listed on people's profiles. Someone's follower count is a key measure of online popularity and influence.
The internet has experienced this kind of bloodbath before. In 2014, during the Instagram Rapture, the Facebook-owned company slashed deactivated spam accounts and other accounts that violated its guidelines. Distraught users begged the company to stop decimating follower counts as socially media savvy celebrities such as Justin Bieber mourned the loss of millions of followers.