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Justin Bieber Loses 3.5 Million Followers in Instagram’s Removal of Fake Accounts

Justin Bieber
Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Getty Images

Instagram has purged millions of fake and inactive accounts, resulting in massive drops in follower numbers for celebrities, companies, brands and regular people. Which celeb took the biggest hit? Justin Bieber.

Biebs was the biggest loser, with more than 3.5 million followers reportedly removed, according to this chart of affected accounts. The change drops Justin from the No. 1 most followed celebrity on Instagram to No. 2. Kim Kardashian, who lost 1 million followers herself, now takes top place. It’s just the latest in their back-and-forth battle over social-media superiority.

Other celebrities in the Top 10 of those taking the biggest hits are, in order, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Taylor Swift, Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. Counted all together, the Kardashian clan lost almost 4 million followers.

Instagram explained its actions in a statement: “When we remove accounts from Instagram that don’t follow our Community Guidelines, you may see a decrease in your follower count. This shouldn’t affect engagement from authentic accounts that like and comment on your posts.”

Funnily enough, the No. 1 loser overall? Instagram itself, which lost 29 percent of its followers.

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