Are 70 percent of Xtian Dela’s 770K Twitter followers Chinese? He reveals why his account has been unverified


The Twitter account of online influencer Arthur Mandela, popularly known on social networking services as Xtian Dela, has been unverified – and #KOT on Friday made him a “laughing stock”.

Mandela, who boasts of a jumbo following of 772, 000 followers on Twitter, says his account was unverified after he mistakenly “clicked on a symbol that made his account private.”

“Twitter has a new feature that enables you to know when a recipient has read your direct message. Unknown to me that I would lose my Twitter verification; I mistakenly clicked on the ‘make your account private’ command,” Xtian Dela told eDaily.

According to Twitter, one can lose his verification when the account is rendered fake, when user dies or becomes a disgraced public figure.

Unconfirmed reports from a self-proclaimed hacker surfaced online August last year claiming that Mandela’s legit followers are only 4, 000 (1.7 percent) and that the remaining 98.3 percent are users from other nations, with Chinese nationals taking  a huge chunk of the total followers at 74.49 percent.

The social media marketer however rubbishes the claims, saying: “One cannot win, let alone be nominated for social media awards when his accounts are fake, or when his followers were acquired through deceit. I won an OLX Soma award in 2014 for being an online influencer; I wouldn’t have been nominated if my accounts were fake.”

Mandela, who claims it took him seven years to build the brand Xtian Dela, says he is currently in talks with Twitter Kenya to know why he lost his verification.

About verified accounts

The blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic.

The badge appears next to the name on an account’s profile and next to the account name in search results. It is always the same colour and placed in the same location, regardless of profile or theme colour customizations.

Accounts that don’t have the badge next to their name but that display it somewhere else, for example in the profile photo, header photo, or bio, are not verified accounts.

Verified badges must be applied by Twitter, and accounts that use a badge as a part of profile photos, background photos, or in any other way that implies verified status, are subject to permanent account suspension.


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