Twitter suspends accounts claiming to be Black Trump supporters over spam, manipulation

(Reuters)-On Tuesday, Twitter Inc < TWTR.N > confirmed that a range of accounts alleging control of President Donald trump 's Black followers and his rewrite initiative were suspended stating that they violated its abuse and exploitation regulations. (Reuters)

"Our staff are trying to address this behavior vigorously and will take measures in compliance with the Twitter Regulations if Tweets are deemed to have been infringed," a social media spokeswoman said.

Darren Linvill, a Clemson University social media deception researcher who said he'd monitored the reports after Saturday noticed more than two dozen reports of 265,000 retweets or Twitter calls.

He said the papers were of varying proportions, but some of them had gained tens of thousands.

Any removed accounts reported that they have also used photos from actual individuals not matching their identities and shared in tweets similar language including: "YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!"

Before they were withdrawn, others gained thousands of fans.

Often the accounts is claimed by combat veterans or law enforcement officers.

Any stories about Black American men who were seen in news papers have been used by Linvill. Linvill said

Some have used the same Trump images as their image header.

A Reuters application for comment on an investigation, first mentioned by the Washington Post, was not instantly answered with the Trump campaign.

In a phone interview, Linvill told Reuters that most accounts were established in 2017 but that in the past two months they have been more successful.

He said that Twitter had now stopped all accounts he was monitoring in the Community, but losses had been done.

"It doesn't matter if they have already had their effect if Twitter shuts down you in four days," Linvill told swissinfo.ch.

Twitter failed to respond to queries from Reuters regarding the origins of the accounts.

(Edited by Leslie Adler, Tom Brown and David Gregorio, reporting by Jack Stubbs, Elizabeth Culliford and Christopher Bing)

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