Twitter users are tracking which celebrities have unfollowed Kanye West on the social media platform, using DoesFollow.com, after his display of support for President Donald Trump in a series of tweets Wednesday.
The site suggests that Rihanna, John Legend, Kendrick Lamar and other celebrities have unfollowed the rapper in the last several days. But how accurate is it?
Let’s first run down how it works. DoesFollow.com tracks data via user-generated “follow checks,” which occur “anytime a user checks whether one Twitter account follows another,” Damon Clinkscales, creator of DoesFollow.com, wrote in an email to Mic.
When users log on to perform a “follow check,” they are prompted to complete the phrase, “Does _______ follow _______?” by filling in Twitter handles. The answer box will either show “Yup” or “Nope.”
Additionally, the answer box may also show the words “since before” or “changed on” followed by a date. Clinkscales explained the differences between the conditions.
“If the answer box states ‘changed on’ that means ‘the site is dead accurate that a relationship has changed, between a previous check and the date shown,’” Clinkscales wrote. “If the answer box shows ‘since before,’ it means that the date shown is the first time DoesFollow.com has recorded the relationship and we haven’t recorded a change since,” he added.
“In the case of celebrities [following other celebs], there is usually a pretty high likelihood that they’ve been checked by at least one person previously,” Clinkscales said. “So in that case, a ‘changed on’ [result] with a date means they were likely unfollowed that day. However, it is not a 100% guarantee that it occurred that day.”
“But the current follow status (yup/nope) is as accurate as Twitter, meaning that the state of the follow relationship is 100% accurate.”
With that explanation in mind, here are some of the artists whose “following Kanye West” status changed on or before his pro-Trump tweets Wednesday:
1. John Legend stopped following on or before April 25.
2. Big Sean stopped following on or before April 23.
3. Jaden Smith stopped following on or before April 25.
4. The Weeknd stopped following on or before April 25.
5. Rihanna stopped following on or before April 25.
6. Zayn Malik stopped following on or before April 25.
7. Ariana Grande stopped following on or before April 26.
8. Kendrick Lamar stopped following on or before April 26.
John Legend, who worked closely with West throughout his career, wrote a series of subliminal tweets Wednesday, which could be in response to West’s Twitter activity. “I love that great, brilliant artists have the power to imagine a better future,” Legend wrote. “But artists can’t be blind to the truth.”
The unfollows may have been triggered by West tweeting a selfie wearing a Make America Great Again hat and another image of the hat being autographed by Trump, Wednesday afternoon. The rapper also posted a screenshot of Trump retweeting his hat photo to follow up his excitement.