TL;DR We just deployed a minor fix for the number of followers/followed authors displayed on your profile, item pages, etc. Your actual number of followers or followed authors hasn’t changed, but the number being displayed was sometimes wrong and that was fixed.
To keep the system from having to count your followers/followed authors every time we show them, those numbers are cached in our database. But for a few users, those caches seem to have diverged from the actual number of followers/followed authors.
The bug, hence the correction, impacted very few users: less than 0.5% of all users with any followed authors or followers. Just keep in mind that you may be one of them if you see a slight increase or decrease in the number of followers or followed authors. Most of you, by and large, will not be impacted at all, and for those who will be, in the overwhelming majority of cases it will be a small increase, by one or two followers.
Please note that your actual number of followers or followed authors hasn’t changed, you’re still following and being followed by the same actual people, we didn’t touch that. This only fixes the number shown on your profile and item pages, when it didn’t accurately reflect the actual number.
The most observant will have noticed something similar happened back in november. This new occurrence is much more minor but this is indeed a similar problem. It seems the fixes we put in place back then to try and mitigate the issue didn’t suffice to completely eradicate the drifting. Along with the numbers correction, we deployed a new fix that should mitigate the problem further.
Thanks for your understanding!