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Twitter bars tactics used by 'bots' to spread false stories

Twitter bars tactics used by 'bots' to spread false stories

Another company, privately held online publisher Medium, recently removed accounts belonging to far-right USA commentators including Mike Cernovich, who said on his Twitter account on Wednesday that Medium was acting unlawfully. Over 1 million accounts suspected to be fake were removed in January, and it's possible that the latest mass deletion of accounts is related to Twitter's commitment to address bots as well as the practice of paid followers.

The overnight Twitter purge took some conservative users by surprise.

An indictment issued this week by United States special counsel Robert Mueller, investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, named the Internet Research Agency, described as a bot and disinformation operation which sought to sow divisions in American society using social media. We focus on suspicious account behaviors that indicate inorganic, automated activity, or abusive behavior.

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Posting duplicative content, replies, or mentions from an array of accounts one controls, by hand or by bot, is forbidden, according to Twitter.

Conservatives have long accused Twitter of targeting them specifically.

From the liberal side of Twitter, the response was mixed. On Wednesday, #twitterlockout and #twitterpurge were the top and trending hashtags used by the accounts linked to Russian influence operations tracked by the Alliance's Hamilton 68 project.

Twitter has cracked down on other violations of its terms of service, including fake accounts by people inflating their following.

In hearings previous year, US lawmakers criticized Twitter for not taking the Russian bot scourge seriously enough. "That's why some people may be experiencing suspensions or locks".

The new rules, which come in the wake of a larger spam and bot crackdown, are meant to prevent many of common tactics that bots use to, say, make a hashtag trend or spread spam. "This is part of our ongoing, comprehensive efforts to make Twitter safer and healthier for everyone". But conservative users and Trump supporters say Twitter deploys a double standard, unfairly singling out voices on the right.

On Friday, the office of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies, including St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency known for trolling on social media.

White nationalist Jared Taylor sued Twitter on Tuesday for banning him from the service in December, claiming the company is discriminating against him for his political views.

Twitter has not responded to the controversy it created.

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