Twitter bans more than 100 accounts using the hashtag #IStandWithPutin for violating the platform's 'manipulation and spam policy'

Twitter bans more than 100 accounts using the hashtag #IStandWithPutin for violating the platform's 'manipulation and spam policy'
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  • Twitter removed more than 100 accounts using the hashtag #IStandWithPutin, NBC reported.
  • The accounts were flagged for "coordinated inauthentic behavior" in violation of the company's "manipulation and spam policy."

Twitter banned more than 100 accounts using the hashtag #IStandWithPutin in violation of the social media platform's "manipulation and spam policy."

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to Insider the platform removed the "spammy accounts" for participating in "inauthentic amplification," after several of the tweets went mysteriously viral despite coming from accounts with relatively few followers and stock imagery for profile pictures, as first reported by NBC.

"We identified and permanently suspended a small number of accounts for violations of our platform manipulation and spam policy," the Twitter spokesperson told Insider. "Our teams continue to investigate."

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The tweets were first identified by Owen Jones, an assistant professor of Middle East studies and digital humanities at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar, who told NBC he noticed "lots of accounts demonstrating inauthentic activity and astroturfing."

"They're not bots. They're a lot harder to check than that," Jones told NBC. "Imagine a call center setup. Think of the amount of damage you can do."


The Twitter ban is part of a larger effort among tech companies to crack down on the spread of misinformation in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Last week, Twitter began adding cautionary labels to tweets with content from Russian state-funded media channels, while platforms like Facebook and YouTube pulled all ads in the country and blocked Russian advertisements globally.

"Due to the difficulties of operating in Russia at this time, ads targeting people in Russia will be paused, and advertisers within Russia will no longer be able to create or run ads anywhere in the world, including within Russia," Facebook said on Friday.

On Thursday, reports emerged that Twitter had been blocked or limited in Russia, along with fellow Western media sites like Facebook, according to state-owned media.