Twitter will purge tens of millions of fake or suspicious accounts starting Thursday. The move comes in the wake of a January New York Times investigation into a follower farm, which Twitter executives say inspired the company to crack down on fake accounts. Because high follower counts often beget influence in the real world, aspiring influencers would purchase followers en masse, the Times says, and advertisers who sponsored posts with these supposedly influential users soon realized not every follower was a real person and they weren't reaching the numbers they were paying for. Meanwhile, real followers' influence was watered down by bots and phony accounts. Twitter began locking millions of questionable accounts this spring.

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