Twitter's resident English teacher and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor lost 1,51,509 followers (6.59 million) in just 24 hours, while the government's minister-on-call Sushma Swaraj lost close to 75,000 followers (11.8 million).
Accounts are locked for unusual activity, such as tweeting a large amount of unsolicited replies or mentions. "In these situations, we reach out to the owners of the accounts and unless they validate the account and reset their passwords, we keep them locked with no ability to log in", Twitter announced on Wednesday.
Nowhere has this been more true than with Twitter's own account on the platform, which lost 7.7 million followers.
"This specific update is focused on followers because it is one of the most visible features on our service and often associated with account credibility", Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's legal, policy, and trust and safety lead, wrote in a blog post.
Some of Twitter's most followed accounts have seen a big drop in followers after the social network removed millions of locked accounts.
Katy Perry, now the most-followed person on Twitter, had more than 109 million followers on Wednesday - a number that plunged to about 108 million on Thursday afternoon.
"People having an artificially-inflated follower count made up of bots and redundant accounts is at best deceiving and at worst, fraud". This is part of a broader effort to fight trolls, fake news, and disinformation on the platform.
"Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop". He added in another tweet, "Look, if they're genuinely fake or dead accounts, I have no problem with it.But how do we know?"
According to Twitter, the new measures are aimed at improving accuracy in a bid to make the site a "more trusted service for public conversation". The politicians now have 101 million and 53.1 million followers, respectively.
McHenry saw a similar drop this week, going from around 362,800 followers to 223,300 Thursday evening.