Alleged Bot Purge Sparks Outrage From Conservative Twitter Users

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"Our systems regularly look for suspicious account behaviors and we proactively take action on accounts that behave in spammy ways, including by requesting additional details like asking account owners to confirm a phone number".

Prominent conservative pundits and activists said today that thousands of their followers had been deleted overnight. "Twitter blocked me from Twitter ads last night and purged thousands of followers".

The San Francisco messaging platform said the move was meant to rid the service of spam-spewing automated accounts, and not aimed at people using the service according to the rules. They claimed the company never had a consistent policy for dealing with how bots abuse Twitter. In 2016, Spencer was temporarily removed for having multiple overlapping accounts.

Twitter is seeking out and shutting down automated accounts that pretend to be real people as pressure mounts to purge the service of "bots" that artificially inflate follower counts and advertising metrics. Twitter was created to be friendly to innocuous bot accounts that can help companies quickly spread their message or respond to customer-service complaints.

Last month, Twitter revealed that more than 50,000 accounts on the platform were linked to Russian propaganda and almost 700,000 Americans were exposed to that content-much of which is believed to have been produced and spread by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian bot farm operated out of St. Petersburg and often associated with the Russian government. Yet bots can also be used to pose as other people's identities or to spread misinformation.

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Twitter confirmed with Business Insider it had indeed suspended accounts, but said Twitter's tools are "apolitical".

Other fake accounts have been traced to Russian-backed agents that the USA government says are working to sow political discord in the country.

Twitter denied cracking down on conservative voices. Even Ajit Pai, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission, has said the service discriminates against conservatives.

There have also been pleas for Twitter to be open about its response.

And yet President Trump continues to tweet disparaging nonsense about the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or retweet the pathetic tweet from a Facebook exec who insisted that most of the $100,000 Russian ad buy was "AFTER the election".

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