July 12 (UPI) -- In an effort to foster better communication among its user base, social media giant Twitter said it will purge millions of inactive or illegitimate accounts.
Twitter announced in a blog post Wednesday it will remove the accounts immediately. The average user will lose about four followers, while those with larger audiences might see a greater loss.
Twitter began purging accounts this week.
Specifically, the social communication platform said it has noticed an increase in "misleading links" and occasions when accounts block another immediately after mentioning them.
The goal of the purge is to encourage "conversation health" and improve confidence, Twitter head counsel Vijaya Gadde said.
"Follower counts are a visible feature, and we want everyone to have confidence that the numbers are meaningful and accurate," Gadde said.
Twitter said the purge will not affect spam accounts, or "bots" -- only those created by real users, some of which are suspected of being overtaken by hackers.
Still, Gadde said, Twitter will still target spam accounts, which she said are becoming "increasingly predictable" and "can be automatically shut down with our technology."
Twitter said last week its anti-spamming technology can identify about 10 million suspicious accounts each week and shut them down.