Twitter on Friday began suspending dozens of accounts for posting content supportive of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg in violation of the company’s policies.
Seventy accounts were being suspended, either temporarily or permanently, after Twitter determined they broke its rules against artificially amplifying content, the company confirmed.
“We have taken enforcement action on a group of accounts for violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Washington Times.
The Los Angeles Times first reported about Twitter suspending the accounts Friday evening, two days after The Wall Street Journal revealed that Mr. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign had begun hiring hundreds of “deputy field organizers” to promote his candidacy on social media services for $2,500 per month.
Tweets found by The L.A. Times and presented to Twitter showed multiple accounts posting identical messages supportive of Mr. Bloomberg, the former three-term mayor of New York City.
Twitter said it subsequently determined the accounts violated its “Platform Manipulation and Spam Policy,” which prohibits conduct including “coordinating with or compensating others to engage in artificial engagement or amplification.”
Some of the pro-Bloomberg accounts would be permanently suspended, while others would be allowed to remain on the platform provided their owners verify their identities, Twitter added.
“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,” Bloomberg campaign spokesperson Sabrina Singh said in a statement, The Times reported.
“Through Outvote [a voter-engagement app], content is shared by staffers and volunteers to their network of friends and family and was not intended to mislead anyone,” she added.
Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire who launched his presidential bid in November, has previously faced scrutiny as a result of his campaign tactics, including specifically his unprecedented spending on political advertisements. His campaign has spent roughly $452 million on advertising during the last four months, ad-tracking firm Advertising Analytics assessed this week, including $401 million on television and radio ads, NPR reported Friday.
Twitter is hardly the only social media service where the Bloomberg campaign is investing heavily, meanwhile. Mr. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has spent more than $49.5 million on Facebook ads since mounting his bid, including $8.4 million in the last week alone, according to the social network’s statistics.
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