Twitter bans 70 pro-Bloomberg accounts

The social media network accused supporter accounts of ‘platform manipulation’

A clutch of 70 Twitter accounts backing Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg have been banned from the site amid accusations they were attempting to manipulate the platform.

As reported first by the Los Angeles Times, several accounts owned by Mr. Bloomberg organizers posted identical tweets back in November 2019, although their activity was not brought to light until now. These include a reference to Barbara Streisand’s support for the candidate, stating: “A president is born: Barbra Streisand sings Mike’s praises. Check out her tweet.”

Once the issue was brought to the attention of Twitter by the LA Times, the social media company determined that such co-ordinated tweets violated its spam and platform manipulation policy, and suspended the accounts.

In a statement to Reuters, the company said: “We took enforcement action on about 70 accounts, which includes a combination of permanent suspensions and account challenges to verify ownership.”

It’s speculated that these accounts may belong to unpaid supporters or campaign volunteers.

It’s understood that Bloomberg’s presidential campaign is specifically targeting social media as a channel to influence voter opinion. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported: “[The] campaign is hiring hundreds of workers in California to post regularly on their personal social-media accounts in support of the candidate and send text messages to their friends about him.”

Twitter has taken a firm line on political activity on its platform. In April 2019, it targeted users who were using the service for the purposes of “manipulating or interfering in elections”.

Then in October last year CEO Jack Dorsey announced it would ban all political advertising in the runup to the 2020 Presidential election in a series of tweets.

Facebook, by contrast, has decided to take limited action against these sorts of activity. The company announced it wouldn’t subject political ads to third-party fact checking in the same way other posts are. In February this year, it was also forced to admit it was allowing U.S.-based political candidates to run sponsored or content across not just its main platform, but also its popular photo, video and image-sharing site, Instagram

Featured Resources

Defeating ransomware with unified security from WatchGuard

How SMBs can defend against the onslaught of ransomware attacks

Free download

The IT expert’s guide to AI and content management

How artificial intelligence and machine learning could be critical to your business

Free download

The path to CX excellence

Four stages to thrive in the experience economy

Free download

Becoming an experience-based business

Your blueprint for a strong digital foundation

Free download

Recommended

Twitter, LinkedIn reverse course due to climbing COVID cases
remote access

Twitter, LinkedIn reverse course due to climbing COVID cases

29 Jul 2021
Senator wants social media companies held liable for spreading anti-vax lies
social media

Senator wants social media companies held liable for spreading anti-vax lies

23 Jul 2021
Social media companies vow to reduce abuse of women online
Security

Social media companies vow to reduce abuse of women online

1 Jul 2021
The IT Pro Podcast: The power of disinformation
social media

The IT Pro Podcast: The power of disinformation

11 Dec 2020

Most Popular

Zoom: From pandemic upstart to hybrid work giant
video conferencing

Zoom: From pandemic upstart to hybrid work giant

14 Sep 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021
Google takes down map showing homes of 111,000 Guntrader customers
data breaches

Google takes down map showing homes of 111,000 Guntrader customers

2 Sep 2021