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

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Fake Black Trump supporters appear mysteriously on Twitter, reach thousands, then vanish

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

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Game ‘pre-bunks’ COVID-19 conspiracies as part of UK’s fight against fake news

Game 'pre-bunks' COVID-19 conspiracies as part of UK's fight against fake news
Go Viral! visuals Credit: Cambridge/UK Cabinet Office

A new online game that puts players in the shoes of a purveyor of fake pandemic news is the latest tactic in efforts to tackle the deluge of coronavirus misinformation costing lives across the world.


The Go Viral! game has been developed by the University of Cambridge’s Social Decision-Making Lab in collaboration with the UK Cabinet Office and media collective DROG.

It builds on research from Cambridge psychologists that found by giving people a taste of the techniques used to spread fake news on social media, it increases their ability to identify and disregard misinformation in the future.

Go Viral! is launched on the heels of a new study from the team behind it, just published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. The latest findings show that a single play of a similar game can reduce susceptibility to false information for

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Fake asteroid? NASA expert IDs mystery object as old rocket

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This Sept. 20, 1966 photo provided by the San Diego Air and Space Museum shows an Atlas Centaur 7 rocket on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Fla. NASA’s leading asteroid expert, Paul Chodas, speculates that asteroid 2020 SO, as it is formally known, is actually a Centaur upper rocket stage that propelled NASA’s Surveyor 2 lander to the moon in 1966 before it was discarded.

AP

The jig may be up for an “asteroid” that’s expected to get nabbed by Earth’s gravity and become a mini moon next month.

Instead of a cosmic rock, the newly discovered object appears to be an old rocket from a failed moon-landing mission 54 years ago that’s finally making its way back home, according to NASA’s leading asteroid expert. Observations should help nail its identity.

“I’m pretty jazzed about this,” Paul Chodas told The Associated Press. “It’s been a hobby of

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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

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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

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Amazon employee arrested, charged with issuing $96,500 in fake refunds

  • An ex-Amazon employee was arrested and charged with fraud last week after the company reported him to the FBI, Amazon said on Monday.
  • The Amazon employee, Vu Ang Nguyen, is charged with wire fraud and identity theft by federal prosecutors, who say in court documents that Nguyen used his position to issue $96,508 in fraudulent refunds to himself and friends.
  • Nguyen worked as a selling support associate for Amazon.com based in Tempe, Arizona, which gave him the power to manually authorize refund requests.
  • Last month, a different Amazon employee was charged by the SEC with making $1.4 million from insider trading while working as a finance manager for the company.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A former Amazon employee has been arrested by federal authorities and charged with committing wire fraud and identity theft, the company disclosed Monday.

Vu Ang Nguyen, who worked as an Amazon selling support

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Ex-Amazon employee arrested after issuing fake refunds totaling more than $96K

Amazon’s Seattle HQ. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

A former Amazon employee was charged with federal wire fraud and aggravated identity theft after issuing false refunds for products ordered on Amazon.com.

A criminal complaint filed by the FBI alleges that Vu Anh Nguyen issued more than $96,000 in fraudulent refunds to himself and associates while working as a selling support associate based in Tempe, Ariz.

Nguyen used his employee access and manipulated Amazon’s product return procedures by manually authorizing refunds for items ordered from third-party sellers, according to the complaint. None of the refended items were actually returned to Amazon.

Amazon fired Nguyen after detecting the suspicious refunds and reported Nguyen to authorities in July.

“We thank the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation for their swift work to hold this fraudster accountable,” Amazon said in a statement. “There is no place for misconduct or fraud at Amazon.

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Facebook takes down more fake accounts linked to Russian intelligence

“While we have not seen the networks we removed today engage in these efforts, or directly target the US 2020 election, they are linked to actors associated with election interference in the US in the past, including those involved in ‘DC leaks’ in 2016,” Gleicher wrote.

“These fake personas posed as editors and researchers to solicit articles for these websites. This network posted primarily in Russian and English about news and current events, including protests and elections in Belarus, Russian and Ukrainian politics, geopolitical conspiracies, Russia-NATO relations, Russia’s relations with neighboring countries, and criticism of US foreign policy, socio-economic issues in the US, and US political candidates on both sides of the political spectrum.”

This isn’t the first time Facebook says it found fake accounts linked to Russian state actors. Earlier this month the company took down a handful of accounts tied to Russia’s Internet Research Agency that successfully tricked

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A Tesla Model 3 in China was caught on video smashing into a fake pedestrian in an automatic braking test



a car parked on the side of a road: Tesla


© Tesla
Tesla

  • A widely shared clip on Twitter appears to show a Tesla Model 3 dramatically failing an automatic braking test in China.
  • In the clip, originally posted to the social media site Weibo, a simulated pedestrian on a controlled path is mowed down by the car.
  • In the US, AAA has found major flaws with many automakers’ emergency braking software, including Tesla. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

Tesla’s automatic braking apparently wasn’t enough to save a simulated pedestrian in China.

Video from social media site Weibo, posted to Twitter this month, shows a stuffed dummy on a track walking in front of a quickly accelerating Model 3. It doesn’t end well for the inanimate walker.

 

Jalopnik first spotted the video. Tesla didn’t respond to questions about it. 

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It’s not clear who organized the event where the clip was taken,

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