Thanks for the updates, Jack Preston King and Rahul Misra. I remember when this really started and several people identified the steady stream of followers as bogus. Whether bots or not it’s been obvious that these were not active users. As I noted my interest was in the sudden disappearance of the steady bogus people background noise that seems, now, to be normal for any social media platform. My interest is in the real people who read and comment. I do feel a little guilty about just accepting this as SOP but what can we do? For whatever reason I was one of the accounts on the receiving end of the algorithm.
I had also thought there was an actual decline in readers but a more careful check seems to show that not to be true. It was just the noise of the account generators in my notifications. But, still, I suspect something else to happen or the proverbial second shoe to drop. We will never know but it is kind of obvious when these things are turned on and off.