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Twitter Deleted Thousands Of Fake Accounts That Discouraged Voting In The Midterms

Twitter deleted more than 10,000 automated accounts that were discouraging people from voting in the upcoming midterm elections on Friday. 

Reuters reported that each of the accounts posed as if it belonged to Democrats. Several of the tweets said that male Democrats should not vote to avoid drowning out the voices of women, according to Reuters. This led the party to flag the tweets to the social media platform. The removal of the accounts happened between September and October.

“We stopped this quickly and at its source,” a Twitter spokesperson told Buzzfeed News. Twitter also said to the publication that it’s working with both political parties and the Department of Homeland Security to monitor any interference in Tuesday’s midterm elections. 

“Our singular goal is to enforce our policies vigorously and protect conversational health on our service,” the company said. “We removed a series of accounts for engaging in attempts to share disinformation in an automated fashion—a violation of our policies.” 

The number is small compared to the millions Twitter has deleted for spreading misinformation in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. A large number of social media accounts moved to suppress votes by spreading false information about issues and numbers that people could use to text in their votes, during the 2016 presidential election, The Hill reports. Either way, it still shows that there is a number of accounts still engaged in voter suppression on Twitter’s platform.  

Twitter has since taken steps to stop the release of political misinformation on their platform before the 2018 midterm elections.

Carissa Dunlap is a Her Campus News X Social Intern for Summer 2018. She is a current Publishing major and Journalism minor at Emerson College (Class of 2020). When she isn't perusing the YA bookshelf at the bookstore, she can be found watching dog videos on Facebook, at her favorite coffee shops, or relaxing on the beach. Follow her on Instagram @dunlapcarissa or Twitter @Caridunlap.
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