Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis lost about half his followers in Twitter's fake account purge

Twitter took its “Will the real followers stand up?” show on the road Thursday, beginning a massive purge of fake Twitter accounts and bots.

When the dust settled, dozens of media figures, celebrities and athletes saw their following decimated. Former Ravens and Hall of Fame-bound linebacker Ray Lewis was one of them.

In January, the New York Times reported on Devumi, a company that sells followers and retweets to anyone who wanted to inflate their social media influence. Lewis, then with over 700,000 followers, was found to be a client.

As of Friday morning, Lewis now carries only 360,000 followers, approximately half of what he once had. For the remaining 340,000-plus lost to the purge, there is no definitive evidence that each were bought by Lewis. In January, the New York Times uncovered an email address from Lewis’ personal assistant, Ashley Knight, listed on an order of 250,000 followers, which costs $1,799, according to the company’s rates.

Even so, it’s probably a good thing that, per Devumi’s website, the company has a “money-back guarantee” policy.

Other accounts that lost a sizable chunk of their followings to the bot-wipe were former ESPN reporter and Fox News contributor Britt McHenry, who saw her following shrink from 362,800 to 223,000, and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, who reportedly lost 1 million followers.

kfominykh@baltsun.com

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