Twitter suspends 70 accounts promoting presidential wannabe Mike Bloomberg

Twitter has suspended around 70 accounts for attempting to manipulate the platform in support of Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.

Mike Bloomberg, the world’s 12th richest person and the former mayor of New York, is the latest entry in the race to be the Democratic presidential candidate.

He qualified to appear in a campaign debate alongside rivals including Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg after spending an unparalleled amount of money, which he has put up himself without doing any fundraising, to gain public attention.

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“We took enforcement action on about 70 accounts, which includes a combination of permanent suspensions and account challenges to verify ownership,” a Twitter spokeswoman confirmed on Saturday.

The suspensions, which were first reported by the Los Angeles Times, related to accounts which posted the same messages in order to game the platform’s analysis of the public conversation.

It comes as Mr Bloomberg’s campaign has been reported to be spending millions to garner influence on social media, using influencers and paid content to spread awareness.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 26: A sign is posted on the exterior of Twitter headquarters on July 26, 2018 in San Francisco, California. Twitter is expected to announce strong second quarter earnings on Friday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Image: Twitter said the accounts attempted to manipulate the platform

Sabrina Singh, one of the Bloomberg campaign’s spokespeople, said: “We ask that all of our deputy field organisers identify themselves as working on behalf of the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign on their social media accounts.”

She added that content which was “shared by staffers and volunteers to their network of friends and family” was “not intended to mislead anyone”.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, some of these digital organisers in California were receiving $2,500 (£1,900) a month to promote Bloomberg’s on social media to their own followers.

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