The social media giant takes action against an account network that has violated the rules for spam and platform manipulation.
Twitter has stated that it has banned a number of accounts allegedly owned by black supporters of President Donald Trump and his re-election campaign. The accounts violated the rules for spam and platform manipulation.
“Our teams are working hard to investigate this activity and will take action in accordance with Twitter rules if tweets are found to be a violation,” said a spokeswoman for the social media company on Tuesday.
Darren Linvill, a social media disinformation researcher at Clemson University, who said he had been following the accounts since Saturday, found more than two dozen accounts that had a combined 265,000 retweets or Twitter mentions.
He said the accounts varied in size, but some had won tens of thousands of followers.
A review of some of the banned accounts found that they frequently used pictures of real people who did not match their name and posted identical language in their messages, including the phrase, “YES IN BLACK AND VOTE FOR TRUMP !!!”
Some had attracted thousands of followers before they were suspended. The accounts sometimes claimed to be in the possession of military veterans or law enforcement officials.
Linvill said some of the reports used photos of black American men that had appeared in news articles. Some used identical images of Trump as the header image.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the investigation, first reported by the Washington Post.
Linvill told Reuters in a phone interview that most of the accounts were created in 2017, but had become more active in the past two months.
He said all of the accounts he followed in the group have now been banned from Twitter, but the damage has already been done.
“It doesn’t matter if Twitter shuts you down in four days, it’s already having an impact,” Linvill said.
Twitter declined to answer Reuters’ questions about the origins of the accounts.