Tag: accounts

14
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Twitter suspends accounts claiming to be Black Trump supporters over spam, manipulation

(Reuters) – Twitter Inc on Tuesday said it had suspended a number of accounts that claimed to be owned by Black supporters of President Donald Trump and his re-election campaign, saying the accounts broke its rules on spam and platform manipulation.

“Our teams are working diligently to investigate this activity and will take action in line with the Twitter Rules if Tweets are found to be in violation,” a spokeswoman for the social media company said.

A review by Reuters of some of the suspended accounts showed they often used images of real people that did not match their names and posted identical language in their messages, including the phrase: “YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!”

The accounts sometimes claimed to be owned by military veterans or members of law enforcement.

Darren Linvill, a social media disinformation researcher at Clemson University who said he had been tracking the accounts since Saturday, found more than two dozen accounts that collectively had 265,000 retweets or Twitter mentions. He said the accounts ranged in size but some had attracted tens of thousands of followers.

Twitter declined to specify the number of accounts suspended or to comment beyond its statement.

Twitter’s policy against platform manipulation and spam prohibits coordination among accounts to artificially influence conversation, including the use of multiple or fake accounts.

Linvill said some of the accounts used photos of Black American men that had appeared in news articles. Some used identical images of Trump as their header image.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the investigation, which was first reported by the Washington Post.

Linvill told Reuters that most of the accounts were created in 2017, but had become more active in the past two months. He said all the accounts

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Twitter suspends fake Black pro-Trump accounts

Twitter said Tuesday it had suspended several fake accounts purporting to be African Americans who support President Donald Trump and which had succeeded in garnering several thousand followers in just a few days.

“Our teams are working diligently to investigate this activity and will take action in line with the Twitter rules if Tweets are found to be in violation,” said a spokesman for the San Francisco-based company.

Darren Linvill, a professor at Clemson University who specializes in disinformation on social media, published some examples of the fake accounts on Twitter, accusing them of using “digital black face.” 

“Yes IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!” said one of the examples he shared, under the name of Ted Katya on September 17. “Libs wont like that but I dont care!!!”

The tweet was shared 6,000 times and “liked” more then 16,000 times.

Most of the accounts “used images of real Americans in their profiles,” Linville said, and some of them had tens of thousands of followers.

Twitter suspended the identified profiles because they were deceiving users about their intention and their identity, and were therefore deemed to be manipulating public debate.

The company forbids using the platform “to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on Twitter,” according to guidelines published last month.

Under heavy criticism, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have mobilized in the run-up to the November 3 election to show they have learned the lessons of the scandals in 2016, when they were used to spread false or misleading information ahead o the US elections, some of them concerted campaigns initiated by foreign powers such as Russia.

The platforms have made progress in dismantling large-scale disinformation campaigns but now face a number of smaller-scale attempts to disseminate

08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Facebook removes fake accounts linked to Turning Point USA

  • Facebook has removed 200 fake accounts created by a marketing firm that was working for an affiliate of conservative youth group Turning Point USA. 
  • The company announced that it had discovered a coordinated campaign to use fake accounts to comment on news articles, writing messages centered around topics like the coronavirus outbreak and the 2020 election.
  • In examples published by Facebook, commenters criticized mail-in ballots, promoted big game hunting, and said Democrats “will do anything to screw over Americans.” 
  • Facebook said it discovered the campaign after reporting from the Washington Post last month found that the affiliate group, Turning Point Action, was paying teenagers to post pro-Trump messages. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook has removed hundreds of fake accounts created by a marketing firm working for Turning Point Action, an affiliate of pro-Trump youth group Turning Point USA, the company announced Thursday. 

Facebook said it identified a coordinated campaign to create fake accounts that commented on other people’s posts after the Washington Post’s Isaac Stanley-Becker reported last month about a campaign to pump out conservative messages on the platform. Since then, Facebook said it’s identified 200 fake accounts tied to Rally Forge, a marketing agency that it said was working on behalf of Turning Point USA, as well as an organization called Inclusive Conservation Group. Facebook said it has now banned Rally Forge from the platform. 

In a statement to Business Insider, Turning Point Action clarified it had been running the campaign, not Turning Point USA.

“Facebook’s blog post in question was in reference to a project for Turning Point Action, a 501c4 and an entirely separate entity. The mistake has been flagged with Facebook’s communication team,” the statement read. “Turning Point Action works hard to operate within social platforms’ TOS on all of its projects and

08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Facebook removes fake accounts linked to conservative group

Facebook has removed 276 accounts that used fake profiles to pose as right-leaning Americans and comment on news articles, often in favor of President Donald Trump, the company announced Thursday.

The platform also permanently banned an Arizona-based digital communications firm that it said was behind the fake accounts.

The move was prompted by reporting last month in The Washington Post that a pro-Trump group known as Turning Point Action was paying teenagers to post coordinated, supportive messages, a violation of Facebook’s rules.

Facebook and Twitter have been regularly removing fake accounts — both domestic and foreign — that try to insert themselves in the U.S. political discourse and influence the election. But social made companies face broader threats around misinformation and voter suppression that at times come from President Donald Trump himself.

The latest network Facebook removed became active before the 2018 midterm elections and went dormant until June, when the accounts began posting on topics including the coronavirus pandemic, criticism of the Democratic Party and its nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as praise for Trump and other Republicans.

Individuals behind the accounts used stock photos to create fake profiles, many of which were removed by Facebook’s automated detection software. Facebook determined that the accounts were being coordinated by Rally Forge, an Arizona-based firm.

“Although the people behind this network attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation linked this activity to Rally Forge,” Facebook said.

While Facebook’s investigation cited Rally Forge’s work for Turning Point USA, the work was actually performed on behalf of Turning Point Action, an independent political action committee, according to a statement from the organization. Turning Point Action added that it will work with Facebook “to rectify any misunderstanding” about its content.

Turning Point Action was founded last year by Charlie

05
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Instagram starts labeling ‘state-controlled media’ accounts and posts

“Instagram defines ‘state-controlled media’ as media outlets that Instagram believes may be partially or wholly under the editorial control of their government, based on our own research and assessment against a set of criteria developed for this purpose,” the company says on the page. “We hold these accounts to a higher standard of transparency because we believe they combine the influence of a media organization with the backing of a state.”

Facebook says it plans to add the labels to Instagram ads “in the months to come.” When the company detailed the policy in June, it said it had consulted with 65 experts to create an internal criteria for deciding when the “state-controlled” label is appropriate. As you can see from the screenshots, some of those publications have updated their profiles to dispute the labels. They have the option to appeal them in an official capacity.  

Instagram is rolling the labels out mere weeks before the 2020 presidential election on November 3rd. In the lead up to the election, Facebook has consistently faced criticism for its mostly hands-off approach to misinformation on its platforms. At the end of September, Jen O’Malley Dillon, Joe Biden’s campaign manager, called the company “the nation’s foremost propagator of disinformation.”

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