Feb 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Twitter suspends pro-Bloomberg accounts for spam and "platform manipulation"

Bloomberg rallies in Salt Lake City, Utah on Feb. 20. Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

Twitter has reportedly suspended about 70 accounts posting pro-Bloomberg content, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The big picture: The presidential campaign is paying Instagram, Facebook and Twitter users in California to post messages of support on their personal accounts, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. That effort could "later be deployed nationwide," per WSJ.

What's happening: In Twitter posts reviewed by the Times, users "often used identical text, images, links and hashtags" to promote content supporting the former New York City mayor. Twitter told the Times this pattern violated its policies on platform manipulation and spam.

  • A Twitter spokesperson would not comment on the record about the site suspending accounts.

What they're saying: “We ask that all of our deputy field organizers identify themselves as working on behalf of the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign on their social media accounts. Through Outvote content is shared by staffers and volunteers to their network of friends and family and was not intended to mislead anyone," Bloomberg spokesperson Sabrina Singh told Axios in a statement.

Go deeper: Mike Bloomberg embraces the meme

Go deeper

New reports find Russian meddling coming via Africa ahead of 2020

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios


A new Russian disinformation campaign targeting Americans on social media operated through satellite outfits in Ghana and Nigeria, according to new reports from CNN and Graphika, in collaboration with Facebook and professors at Clemson University.

Why it matters: Russian efforts to meddle in this year's U.S. elections are evolving in an attempt to avoid detection. In 2016, most state-backed misinformation campaigns went through St. Petersburg. Now, the Kremlin is changing course.

Twitter labels Biden clip retweeted by Trump as "manipulated media"

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Twitter has placed a "manipulated media" label on an edited video of 2020 candidate Joe Biden delivering a speech. The video was originally tweeted by White House social media director Dan Scavino and retweeted by President Trump.

Why it matters: This appears to be the first time Twitter has used that label to call out a visual that it considers to have been doctored with the intention of manipulating users.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 9, 2020 - Technology

Older candidates take the lead on social media

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden — all close to 80 — are pushing the boundaries on social media, while their younger Democratic presidential rivals are comparatively staying out of the fray.

The big picture: President Trump's unexpected rise to political power has shown Democrats and world leaders the power of harnessing popular internet culture to get elected.