Oct. 14 (UPI) — Social platform Twitter said it has suspended phony accounts that boast about belonging to Black Americans who enthusiastically support President Donald Trump.
The accounts have been suspended for violating Twitter policies against spam and misinformation, a company spokesperson said.
One account with the name @CopJrCliff, which attracted 24,000 followers and was liked 75,000 times in a matter of days, claimed to be a Pennsylvania police officer and included the message, “Yes, I’m Black and I’m voting for Trump.” It also included a photo of a Black officer with Trump.
The officer in the photo was actually Portland, Ore., police officer Jakhary Jackson, who told The Washington Post he doesn’t have a Twitter account. He sent his driver’s license and social security information to Twitter to prove his identity and the company suspended the account.
Darren Linville, a social media researcher at Clemson University, said a network
(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
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