US senator John McCain’s number of Twitter followers took a hit after he asked for help reaching the three million mark.

McCain was 74 followers from three million on Monday, so he tweeted his followers asking them to “spread the word” to help him “reach this big milestone”.

The simple request didn’t receive the reaction he hoped, however. Voters frustrated with the politician decided to give McCain the opposite of what he asked for: fewer followers.

The hashtag #UnfollowMcCain was mobilised to encourage other users to unfollow the Republican Party veteran, and was tweeted by more than 700 people, according to hashtag analyser Keyhole.

A few of the those sharing the hashtag commented on McCain’s yes vote to the Republicans’ controversial tax bill.

As of Tuesday afternoon, McCain’s followers stood at 2.98 million.