(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
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
Then, on Sunday, the account was gone — suspended by Twitter for breaking its rules against platform manipulation.
The remarkable reach of @CopJrCliff and other fake accounts from supposed Black Trump supporters highlights how an account can be effective at pushing misleading narratives in just a few days — faster than Twitter can take it down.
A network of more than two dozen similar accounts, many of them using identical language in their tweets, recently has generated more than 265,000 retweets or other amplifying “mentions” on Twitter, according to Clemson University social media researcher Darren Linvill, who has been tracking them since last weekend. Several had tens of thousands of followers, and all but one have now been suspended.
Researchers call fake accounts featuring supposed Black users “digital blackface,” a reference to the now-disgraced tactic of White people darkening their faces for film or musical performances intended to mimic African Americans.
Many of the accounts used profile pictures of Black men taken from news reports or other sources. Several of the accounts claimed to be from members of groups with pro-Trump leanings, including veterans, police officers, steelworkers, businessmen and avid Christians. One of the fake accounts had, in the place of a profile photo, the words “black man photo” — a hint of sloppiness by the network’s creators.
“It’s asymmetrical warfare,” said Linvill, lead researcher for the Clemson University Media Forensics Hub. “They don’t have to last long. And they are so cheap to produce that you can get a lot of traction without a whole lot of work. Thank you, Twitter.”
Linvill said he found some evidence of foreign origins of the network, with a few traces of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet appearing in online records of the accounts. One account previously tweeted to promote an escort service in
UNO, the interesting number card game, is a big favourite and people including children as well as adults enjoy playing it. However, quite often, there has been enough argument over the +2 action card and its consequences. Now now, if you have often been a part of such altercations involving the +2 card while playing the card game, you may or may not be delighted to know that UNO has clarified the rule. Read on.
WHAT IS UNO?
Originally developed by Merle Robbins in 1971 in Ohio, UNO is card game that has been popular across generations. It consists of number cards in different colours as well as action cards such as Wild, Draw Four, Skip, +2 and Reverse.
HOW TO PLAY UNO?
To play UNO, seven cards are dealt to every player and the game begins after a card from the remaining deck is flipped over. Now, you have to play one card matching the card laid out in colour, number or symbol. The game continues and every action card has a particular rule with it. The player who finishes his cards first, wins.
WHAT DOES THE +2 CARD SIGNIFY?
After you throw a +2 card, the next player has to pick up two cards. But often, players argue that the next player, instead of picking up two cards, can throw a +2 card over a +2 if he has one. Sorry folks, but that isn’t the rule.
WHAT DID UNO TWEET ABOUT THE +2 CARD?
UNO has clarified the official rule in a new post on Twitter with respect to the +2 card. “Per management, you cannot STACK a +2 on a +2. Go ahead, roast us,” UNO said in their post.
Okay, then. Here
Part of the marketing and hype lead-up to any tech launch, now, is a bespoke Twitter hashtag emoji. And now, ahead of its November 10 launch, Xbox Series X has its own.
Microsoft has chosen a Series X over the cuter Series S for its emoji series, and the image will now be attached to several Twitter hashtags. In a Twitter thread, Xbox announced the following hashtags will carry an image of the powerful rectangular console:
Of course, in emoji form, the Series X is a tiny little thing–in real life, it’s quite large.
The PlayStation 5 has its own Twitter emoji too, and has for a while–it’s a little DualSense controller.
The Xbox Series X and Series S release worldwide on November 10–less than a month away. Here’s every launch title coming to the new Xbox, and GameSpot’s preorder guide for both Xbox systems.