- The Washington Times - Friday, January 8, 2021

Prominent conservative commentators are claiming that they are losing Twitter followers in droves, with some asserting that Twitter is deleting their following.

James Woods, an actor and pro-Trump conservative commentator, alleged Thursday that he lost thousands of followers and blamed Twitter.

“Twitter, the ‘public forum’ for free speech, has deleted 15,000 followers from my account in the last few hours,” Mr. Woods tweeted Thursday. “There is no point engaging in a national conversation on a ‘forum’ that is in actual fact a propaganda organ. God Bless America.”

Brandon Straka, who leads a #WalkAway movement calling for people to abandon the political left, similarly tweeted that he observed thousands of followers leaving him.

“I’m now down almost 13K followers in 28 hours,” Mr. Straka tweeted early Friday morning. “At this rate I’ll roll back to zero by Sunday. It was nice knowing y’all everybody! Guess I’ll say my goodbyes now! lol.”

Asked about the accusations, a Twitter spokesperson pointed to their approach to fighting accounts engaged in platform manipulation and spam.

“As part of our work to protect the integrity of the conversation on Twitter, we regularly challenge accounts to confirm account details such as email and phone number,” the spokesperson said. “Until the accounts confirm additional account information, they are in a locked state and do not count towards follower counts.”

There are many different reasons why follower counts diminish on social media platforms, including because users may choose to unfollow one another or because of content moderation from the platforms.

When social media companies have previously taken action against those misusing their platform, it has resulted in larger numbers of suspensions and removals in short periods of time. Facebook, for example, removed 980 groups affiliated with Antifa in August and 790 QAnon groups at the same time. The company restricted thousands of hashtags, ads and pages related to the groups all at the same time.

Other conservatives that are frustrated with Twitter are attempting to direct users to follow them on other platforms, including Parler. Dan Bongino, a conservative commentator and Parler investor, said Friday that he was leaving Twitter and could be found on Parler.

“This will be my final post on this anti-American platform,” Mr. Bongino tweeted. “The greatest threats to liberty are the destructive tech tyrants who have acted as publishers in their ongoing wars on conservatives & free speech. You can find me on Parler, where we respect free speech. I’m “dbongino.”“

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