#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 16°C Monday 27 June 2022
Advertisement

Twitter suspends over 300 accounts for ‘platform manipulation’ in connection with Donnelly post

A tweet from the health minister yesterday racked up hundreds of retweets from accounts that appeared to be based in Turkey.

TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED over 300 accounts for violations of its platform manipulation and spam policy after investigating activity around a post from the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.

Donnelly’s tweet yesterday – which was a video update about the National Maternity Hospital – quickly accumulated over 200 retweets, many of which were from accounts that appeared to be based in Turkey.

The health minister and the Department of Health denied paying for any promotional activity on Donnelly’s Twitter account after the unusual patterns emerged. 

A Twitter spokesperson told The Journal that it carried out an investigation into engagements on the tweet and suspended hundreds of accounts for “attempts to artificially influence conversations.” 

“After investigation into engagements on the tweet referenced [Donnelly’s post], our teams have taken action and suspended over 300 accounts for violations of our platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically for attempts to artificially influence conversations,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

The amount of retweets on Donnelly’s post dropped sharply after its initial peculiar popularity yesterday. At the time of writing this evening it had approximately 40 retweets.

It also had over 200 quote tweets, many of which were comments focusing on the unusual engagement on the post.

Fianna Fáil said yesterday that it had reported the issue to Twitter.    

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Twitter has been attempting to cut down on the number of bots which are on the social media platform. Billionaire Elon Musk has also threatened to pull the plug on his proposed purchase of the website over the number of inauthentic accounts.

The Twitter statement added: “We remain vigilant about coordinated activity on our service – using both technology and human review, we proactively and routinely tackle attempts at platform manipulation and mitigate them at scale by taking enforcement action on accounts for violating our policies in this area. 

“We have and will continue to work closely with partners and third party organisations that help to identify Tweets or accounts that violate our policies, which contributes to our work to improve the health of the public conversation.”

Additional reporting from Garreth MacNamee

About the author:

Céimin Burke

Read next:

COMMENTS (25)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel