Twitter Suspends Suspected Anti-Kamala Harris Trolls After Suspicious Behavior.
As the 2020 election cycle begins to ramp up, there is no doubt that the top social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are watching closely to make sure a repeat of 2016 does not occur.
In the first real example that Twitter will be policing much of the the political engagement on their platform, they have apparently begun deleting troll-like accounts which have already begun to attack Democratic Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris and others.
In the purge, at least two highly engaged accounts were suspended by the company after making multiple tweets attacking the Democratic Senator. The accounts, @WillisJermane and @Copmala, were suspended, according to Twitter for two different reasons.
The @copmala account was apparently suspended for violating Twitter’s rules against impersonation. This account featured an image of Harris, and claimed that their location was “Prison”. The other account, @WillisJermane, was even more suspicious, as the profile picture was an African American man claiming to be from the “South”. This account tweeted over 500 times, with the majority of these tweets being attacks on Harris, while a smaller portion attacked recent Cory Booker, who only yesterday announced that he will be entering the 2020 race.
“Kamala Harris loves to put desperate people in jail. Here, she giddily recalls the time a father said his wife had to sit down the kids and tell them to obey the police and go to school or everyone’s going to jail. Is this a healthy learning,” read one of the tweets that this account posted repeatedly, referring to Harris’ position as a prosecutor where she threatened parents for their children’ school truancy.
Twitter explained to CNBC that “If we know an account is somewhere and it is saying something contrary to that, that is something that is taken into account”.
Twitter then went into slightly more detail regarding the @WillisJermane account, saying that Twitter’s prohibition of creating “50 accounts and have them all tweet, all use the same hashtag, to try to make that hashtag trend,” was part of why that account had been suspended.
There was no mention by Twitter that either of these accounts were linked to foreign intelligence like numerous accounts that sowed division in the 2016 election were. However, it appears that Twitter is ready to step up, using 2016 as an example of what they will not allow to happen this time around.