(Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. on Friday said it had begun suspending 70 accounts that posted identical messages in support of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg in a pattern that violates the social-media company’s rules.
A Twitter spokesman said in a statement that it had taken “enforcement action on a group of accounts for violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam.”
Some of the suspensions will be permanent, while in some cases account owners will have to verify they have control of their accounts, the Twitter statement said.
(Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)
The campaign has reportedly hired hundreds of employees to pump out campaign messages on social media platforms. In accounts reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the enforcement action, the organizers used identical texts, links and hashtags. Many of the accounts had been created in the last two months, after Bloomberg entered the presidential race on Nov. 24.
Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said staffers and volunteers use an app called Outvote to share content “and was not intended to mislead anyone.” The campaign asks all deputy field organizers to identify themselves as working on behalf of the candidate on their social media accounts, she said.
Twitter said it had determined that the posts were in violation of its “Platform Manipulation and Spam Policy.”
Twitter said the campaign violated its rules against “creating multiple accounts to post duplicative content,” “posting identical or substantially similar Tweets or hashtags from multiple accounts you operate” and “coordinating with or compensating others to engage in artificial engagement or amplification, even if the people involved use only one account.”
(Updates with Bloomberg campaign response in sixth paragraph)
--With assistance from Natnicha Chuwiruch and Mark Niquette.
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