Twitter Suspends Accounts Allegedly Operated by People Posing as Black Trump Supporters

Twitter has reportedly suspended a number of accounts that claimed to be owned by Black supporters of Donald Trump.

According to the Washington Post, the social media giant confirmed the move Tuesday, stating the accounts in question had violated the platform’s rules against spam and manipulation. Twitter spokesman Trenton Kennedy told the publication the affected accounts were part of a network identified by Clemson University social media researcher Darren Linvill. The researcher noted that the more than two dozen accounts were using similar posting nearly identical messages, like: “YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!” and the #BlacksForTrump hashtag.

It was also noted that many of these profiles featured stolen photos from news articles, as the names on the account did not match the names listed in the news report. There was even one profile page that had the words “black man photo” as the avatar—”a hint of

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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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