‘More than followers, you lost respect’: Twitter reacts to Big B’s threat

The fan following of Big B has quickly dropped from 33 million to 32.9 million.


Dhairya Maheshwari

Is veteran Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan losing his Twitter followers because of politically unpopular stands that he has been taking of late?

The debate has been sparked on the social networking site after Bachchan threatened to quit Twitter, accusing the San Francisco-based company of reducing the number of followers.

The fan following of Big B has quickly dropped from 33 million to 32.9 million.

Bachchan tweeted out on Wednesday,

Critics of Bachchan’s reckoned that the drop in following may well have been a repercussion of Bachchan meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his last month’s visit to India. The meeting was played up as Bollywood’s endorsement of Israel’s stand on the Israel-Palestine dispute. While the Modi government has been apprehensive about overtly siding with Israel on the global stage, there is a feeling that pro-Israel sentiment runs deep in the current BJP-led regime.

A verified Twitter user reacted to Bachchan,

Another Twitter user, ZJ, added that the actor’s silence on Karni Sena’s protests against the screening of ‘Padmaavat’ may have cost him his popularity.

BJP MP Shatraghan Sinha, a contemporary of Bachchan, had flagged Big B’s silence over the violent demonstrations organised by right-wing outfit Karni Sena against the screening of movie ‘Padmaavat’, even as he took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the same statement.

"Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan are being criticised for not coming out to openly condemn the protests against Padmaavat. But why must we in the entertainment industry be expected to take a stand on political issues when the honourable prime minister is quiet?" asked Sinha.

Some news reports speculated that the fall in the number of Bachchan’s Twitter followers was hurting Big B as he now lags behind younger actor Shah Rukh Khan on the social media site.

Several prominent celebrities across the world -- including entertainers, entrepreneurs and media figures -- have lost their followers after a probe was announced in the US last week into digital marketing company Devumi that is reportedly selling fake followers to some of the Twitter users.

A New York Times report claimed that Devumi is providing fake followers to social media users.

It is still unclear whether Amitabh losing his followers is part of this.

According to Twitter's policy, "it strictly prohibits the purchasing and selling of account interactions on its platform. When you purchase followers, Retweets and likes, you are often purchasing bot (fake) or hacked accounts. Any account caught participating in this behaviour will be in violation of the Twitter Rules and may be suspended."

Big B, 74, is ahead of stars Salman Khan (30.7 million), Aamir Khan (22.8 million), Priyanka Chopra (21.6 million) and Deepika Padukone (23 million) on the micro-blogging website.

(with inputs from IANS)

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Published: 01 Feb 2018, 6:59 PM