US election 2020: Twitter suspends accounts sharing poll message

The message was shared by a seemingly inauthentic account using a profile picture of a male model.The message was shared by a seemingly inauthentic account using a profile picture of a male model.

Since then, it has been copy and pasted multiple times.

A Twitter spokesperson told the BBC the accounts violated its rules "on platform manipulation and spam".

On 23 August, a Twitter account called @WentDemtoRep shared a tweet that received more than 37,000 likes and 11,000 shares.

The account was set up this month and used images of a male model who was quick to call out the account.

"I can't believe some pages are using me as profile picture without asking me for permission. Disrespectful," Nelis Joustra tweeted on 24 August.

It remains unclear who was running this account or posted the initial message, which also appeared on social media site 4chan.

The account has now been removed, as has a similar one set up shortly afterwards called @Democratwent.

Prior to the account's suspension, it was spotted by Jordan Dixon-Hamilton, a law student and legislative intern to US Congressman Paul Gosar.

He decided to share the viral message on his own Twitter account @sirhottest during the second night of the Republican Convention on 25 August.

"It seemed super inauthentic to me, so I figured it would be funny if I copy and pasted the post," he told the BBC.

"Lo and behold, a few more of my followers thought it would be funny to post as well until the point it turned into a meme and hundreds of accounts were sharing the message."

Soon many more accounts were sharing the message. Most appear to be Republican supporters and other users who enjoy trolling.

Like @kpopobama who tweeted the message and told the BBC: "Yeah I'm not a Russian bot or anything I just like memes."

Another called James said he shared the message "to add to the chaos".

Other accounts sharing the message had been set up more recently. That includes one called Principled Conservative, which features a profile picture of a cartoon President Trump.

Principled Conservative told the BBC: "I heard that Twitter was auto-deleting accounts that posted this copypasta. So I used my spare account to check."

A number of popular pro-Democrat Twitter accounts soon expressed concern that the copied and pasted messages were part of a foreign interference campaign.

Read the full story at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53925051

1-2-0 (www02)