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  • Twitter has suspended hundreds of fake accounts pretending to be Black Trump supporters.

    Twitter has suspended hundreds of fake accounts pretending to be Black Trump supporters. | Photo: Twitter/@TheYBF

Published 14 October 2020
Opinion

The company reported both spam and platform manipulation from numerous accounts containing identical language.

Twitter said Tuesday that it is investigating a network of accounts claimed to be owned by Black supporters of Donald Trump and his re-election campaign. 

The social network stated that it would suspend additional accounts if they are found to be violating similar spam and platform manipulation policies. 

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First reported by The Washington Post, a review of the accounts found identical, inauthentic language, including the phrase, "YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!" Many appear to use stolen images to seem real and purport to be military veterans or law enforcement members. 

Before their suspensions, many accounts could attract thousands of followers, and one tweet amassed 10,000 retweets before being removed. Another account supposedly used the photo of a Black veteran murdered by the cops themselves to pose as a Trump supporter.

While polls show only 10% of Black voters appear to support Trump, this is not the first time Twitter has addressed this type of sham operation. In August, NBC News also reported spam operations from fake accounts posing as Black Trump supporters. Research shows Black Americans are disproportionately targeted by online disinformation campaigns, especially regarding COVID-19 health information.

A Twitter spokesman told The Guardian that Twitter rules prohibit using the platform "in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates disrupts peoples' experience on Twitter."
 
Although Twitter's public archive said it had suspended 1,500 accounts this month affiliated with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Thailand, and Russia, it did not say where it believed the network of users posing as Black Trump supporters originated or whether it was state-backed. 
 
 
 

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