Technology

Twitter bans accounts that promoted #IStandWithPutin for ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’

Twitter has banned more than 100 accounts that repeatedly retweeted the #IStandWithPutin hashtag, which trended on the platform earlier this week amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

A spokesperson for Twitter told NBC News on Friday that the company is still investigating the people behind the accounts and that the profiles were banned for participating in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” and violating Twitter’s “platform manipulation and spam policy.”

The Hill has reached out to Twitter for further comment.

The accounts that had retweeted the #IStandWithPutin the most had only a few dozen followers and had stock photos for profile pictures on the platform, indicating they may be inauthentic, according to NBC News.

Big tech platforms and social media companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Reddit, have restricted Russian state media access on their platforms and demonetized content from such publishers since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military operation in Ukraine last week. 

In response to the restrictions, Russia has blocked access to Facebook and Twitter.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) sent letters to tech companies including Meta, Twitter and Alphabet, requesting they curb Russian disinformation and devote more resources to identifying fake accounts.

“As one of the world’s largest communications platforms, your company has a clear responsibility to ensure that your products are not used to facilitate human rights abuses, undermine humanitarian and emergency service responses, or advance harmful disinformation,” Warner wrote. 

Tags Mark Warner Russia-Ukraine conflict Russian disinformation Social media Twitter Vladimir Putin

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