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Twitter Suspends 70 Pro-Bloomberg Accounts, Citing “Platform Manipulation”

Turns out you can’t buy your way to the Democratic nomination.

Well… not if Twitter has anything to say about it, at least.

Twitter has announced that it will be suspending 70 pro-Bloomberg accounts.

The accounts were posting the exact same messages.

Content duplication and manipulation is against Twitter policy rules.

More details below:

Could this be a digital version of Jeb Bush's famous, "Please clap?"

Bloomberg's late entry into the race has left him with a potential disadvantage in grassroots support and energy.

The duplicate Twitter accounts were an effort to make Bloomberg appear more popular online than he actually is.

But Twitter has suspended 70 pro-Bloomberg accounts.

NBC News has details on how this violated Twitter policy:

Twitter said it was suspending dozens of accounts that have been pushing content in favor of former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign.

Twitter confirmed late Friday that it was suspending the accounts because it said that they were violating the platform’s manipulation and spam policies.

“We have taken enforcement action on a group of accounts for violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam,” a Twitter spokesperson said.

Some accounts have been permanently suspended while others are under review to verify ownership.

The media giant said that these accounts violated its rules because they circulated the same copy-and-pasted content, which Twitter instituted rules against after Russia bot accounts used the same technique in 2016.

If there are more pro-Bloomberg Twitter accounts with copied and pasted content, the algorithm has yet to detect them.

It is also being reported that the Bloomberg campaign is paying up to $2,500 per month for users to post positive Bloomberg messages.

The LA Times was the first to report on the story:

As part of a far-reaching social media strategy, the Bloomberg campaign has hired hundreds of temporary employees to pump out campaign messages through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These “deputy field organizers” receive $2,500 per month to promote the former New York mayor’s candidacy within their personal social circles, in addition to other, more conventional duties. They receive campaign-approved language that they can opt to post.

In posts reviewed by The Times, organizers often used identical text, images, links and hashtags. Many accounts used were created only in the last two months. Bloomberg officially entered the presidential race on Nov. 24.

After The Times inquired about this pattern, Twitter determined it ran afoul of its “Platform Manipulation and Spam Policy.” Laid out in September 2019 in response to the activities of Russian-sponsored troll networks in the 2016 presidential election, the policy prohibits practices such as artificially boosting engagement on tweets and using deliberately misleading profile information.

By sponsoring hundreds of new accounts that post copy-pasted content, Twitter said the campaign violated its rules against “creating multiple accounts to post duplicative content,” “posting identical or substantially similar Tweets or hashtags from multiple accounts you operate” and “coordinating with or compensating others to engage in artificial engagement or amplification, even if the people involved use only one account.”

It is being widely reported that Bloomberg is spending millions on T.V. ads.

If the Bloomberg campaign is also paying up to $2,500 a month for users to post positive messages online, it's clear the campaign is also investing in social media.

Or at least attempting to.

Fox News has confirmed the story:

Twitter is reportedly suspending 70 accounts, some of which are backed by Michael Bloomberg’s campaign, that have posted identical messages in support of the Democrat’s presidential bid, calling the content “platform manipulation.”

The Los Angeles Times examined the accounts and alerted Twitter, who on Friday determined the posts violated company policy and said they would begin suspending the profiles.

A portion of accounts are operated by Bloomberg campaign workers — called “deputy field organizers” — who pump out pro-Bloomberg content across social media networks, including Twitter, for $2,500 a month, the report said.

Looks like Bloomberg's first "official" week into the campaign post-debate premier is off to a rough start!


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