After Amitabh Bachchan, will Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, and Priyanka Chopra’s follower count on Twitter face the axe?

It has been over 8 years since I joined Twitter and I have only managed to get about 300 followers on my handle while I sat and watched ‘social media influencer’ become a legitimate job profile. People with thousands of followers would endorse tweets and promote things on their platforms, giving rise to an industry no one in the past could think would exist. The fake-followers bot companies. For a certain amount of money, you’d be gifted with hundreds and thousands of followers which will largely sit inactive under your profile but, hey, at least the follower-count on your handle would show a high number. Twitter has finally decided to do something about the problem at hand, as their policy explicitly prohibits buying of followers. Twitter said on Saturday that they are taking action against companies like Devumi, that provided bot-followers, and, poof, millions of followers from prominent accounts disappeared. India’s megastar Amitabh Bachchan seems to be one of the many who suffered the loss.

Amitabh Bachchan woke up to a very unpleasant news yesterday when he found out that his number of followers on Twitter has been reduced by a substantial amount. He even threatened to quit the micro-blogging site in what is his apparent last tweet. But what he might not know is that he is not the only one with the drop. Clay Aiken, John Leguizamo and Lisa Rinna – some very popular Hollywood celebs – also saw their millions of followers vanish into thin air. As Twitter tightens its grip on the fake bot business, celebs like Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, etc might face the music soon, if found guilty. If Amitabh Bachchan’s account can catch fire, no one else in the world is fireproof. ALSO READ: Twitter’s answer to Amitabh Bachchan’s reduced followers makes sense

An expose by New York Times on fake followers has taken the internet by the storm. It reveals that Devumi’s 200,000 customers that include TED speakers, professional athletes, actors and executives are flourishing with bot-followers. How is it a problem to a layman? These bots tend to impersonate a real person. You never know a Twitter handle with your picture might pop somewhere in the world and be run as a bot account. Devumi’s Manhattan address is a sham. The founder’s LinkedIn resume is considerably distorted and so are claims of degrees from M.I.T. and Princeton. So you can guess how the trade of fake followers is in such *safe* hands.