The micro-blogging website Twitter said on Friday that it is suspending around 70 accounts that posted content promoting US Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.
Bloomberg's presidential campaign has been experimenting with novel tactics but one of the strategies that involved pushing out identical messages on Twitter using a large number of accounts has backfired. The social media platform said that posting pro-Bloomberg content in such a way violated its rules.
"We have taken enforcement action on a group of accounts for violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam," a Twitter spokesperson told the LA Times.
The spokesperson informed that the action was taken on about 70 accounts. While some of the suspensions are permanent, others will have to verify ownership of their accounts.
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As per the report, Bloomberg's campaign has hired hundreds of temporary employees to pump out campaign messages through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These "deputy field organizers" receive campaign-approved language that they can opt to post. According to The Times, organizers often use identical text, images, and links along with hashtags and many accounts were created only in the last two months.
Twitter's spam policy
Twitter said that the accounts posting identical content in support of Bloomberg violated its platform manipulation and spam policy. The rule prohibits coordination among accounts to amplify or disrupt conversation by using multiple accounts.
The manipulation policy may be referred to creating several accounts to post duplicative content. However, it also "coordinating with or compensating others to engage in artificial engagement or amplification, even if the people involved use only one account."
Twitter and US election
Twitter has been gearing up for the US Presidential elections. Apart from banning the deep fakes on its platform, Twitter also banned political ads. Recently, Twitter was also spotted testing a new feature to curb the menace of fake news on its platform ahead of the elections.
According to a report by NBC News, Twitter is testing colour labels that will appear beneath tweets of politicians and public figure containing misinformation or lies. Further beneath the warning, Twitter will showcase the correct information provided by verified fact-checkers and journalists, alongside its "community members".