People on Instagram are worried about a 'purge' after discovering they lost a ton of followers, but it turns out it was caused by a bug

  • Instagram users are saying they’re suddenly losing massive amounts of followers.
  • The major loss of followers has reportedly affected popular accounts of celebrities including Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and the YouTuber James Charles.
  • Instagram said in a statement posted to Twitter that it is “aware” of a bug causing such issues and is working to fix the problem “as quickly as possible.”
  • Some speculated the drop in follower counts was caused by the photo-sharing platform’s efforts to curb “inauthentic activity,” including the use of third-party apps to amass fake followers.

A bug is causing some Instagram users to see their follower counts drop by thousands, and for some, even by millions.

Instagram users started to notice the major changes to their accounts’ follower counts on Tuesday night. Instagram responded in a statement, posted to Twitter, saying it is “aware of an issue” and is trying to solve the problem “as quickly as possible.”

Prominent users such as the YouTuber James Charles and the actor Don Benjamin wrote on Twitter late Tuesday night that they had seen their follower counts drop by hundreds of thousands. The Instagram-tracking page on DownDetector, a website that monitors website issues, has been flooded with comments from Instagram users reporting drastic drops in followers.

The social-media consultant Matt Navarra has been keeping track of the “popular accounts” affected.He made a list including some users who have apparently lost more than a million followers, including Kylie Jenner, Cristiano Ronaldo, Justin Bieber, and Selena Gomez.

Many speculated the sudden follower drops were because of Instagram’s crackdown on “inauthentic behaviour” across the platform. The company said back in November it would be taking steps to target accounts using third-party apps and bots to boost their popularity through fake likes and followers.

Read more:

Instagram will soon start cracking down on accounts that use third-party apps to dole out fake likes and followers

Meanwhile, Instagram has denied any sort of “follower purge” taking place and has blamed the sudden change in followers on a bug.

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