Some prominent conservatives and white supremacists on Twitter lost thousands of followers Wednesday after Twitter purged its service of numerous automated "bot" accounts. Investors sent Twitter stock up almost 2% to $33.40 in early afternoon trading.
SAN FRANCISCO-One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russian Federation released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate. "Twitter's tools are apolitical", according to their statement, which explains: "We identify suspicious account behaviors that indicate automated activity or violations of our policies around having multiple accounts".
Cutting off the fire hose of hate and harassment that has persisted following the presidential election has become a pressing issue for Twitter, which is under pressure to grow its user base and attract more advertising as it faces mounting competition from Facebook. No reasonable person can say my account is a bot account. A few complained they were temporarily locked out of their accounts because of "unusual activity" and "automated behavior" and had to share a phone number with Twitter to regain access.
Twitter has yet to announce the purge, but there is speculation that the action was part of the social media giant's effort to get rid of suspected Russian bots. Twitter stock has gained 35% in the past year, and showed a profit for the first time when it reported fourth-quarter earnings.
Since the 2016 election, Twitter and others discovered how "bots" had been used to sow political divisions and spread hoaxes. This means that users of automation platforms like TweetDeck can no longer select multiple accounts to automate posts, tweets, retweets, likes or follows. "There's another explanation: That maybe such a ruckus was raised over it that Twitter walked back what they were trying to do".
Trump Says Russians `Laughing Their Asses Off' by Sowing Chaos
This much is thought to be true: Russian Federation is not known to have succeeded in manipulating voting systems or ballots. But the indictment was silent on the question of whether anyone from the Trump campaign coordinated or worked with Russians.
Last weekend, 13 Russian nationals and 3 entities were indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller last week for their alleged roles in meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election. These users mocked the right. He denies that he or his group, New Century Foundation, promote violence or associate with groups that do.
During an undercover sting, perennially controversial Project Veritas captured footage of Twitter Trust and Safety Manager Olinda Hassan responding to a Veritas question about getting "people like [conservative Mike] Cernovich" off their timeline despite the accounts being blocked and muted: "Yeah, it's something we're working on, we're trying to get the shitty people to not show up".
In January, right-wing journalist-turned-entrepreneur Charles C.
More: Robert Mueller investigation: What is a Russian troll farm? Some argue President Donald Trump, Twitter's most influential user, should be banned for bullying opponents.