Friday April 19, 2019
Home Lead Story Ahead of Isra...

Ahead of Israel’s Elections, Twitter Suspends 600 Chinese Religious Group Accounts

The accounts suspended were amplifying political messages for right-wing politicians and vast majority of the content, posted behind fake names in Hebrew, focused on religion, BuzzFeed News reported

0
//
twitter
A Twitter spokesperson said that the accounts were suspended due to spam violations, the report noted. Pixabay

Ahead of Israel’s upcoming national elections, micro-blogging site Twitter has suspended nearly 600 suspicious Hebrew-language accounts run by a controversial Chinese religious group.

The accounts suspended were amplifying political messages for right-wing politicians and vast majority of the content, posted behind fake names in Hebrew, focused on religion, BuzzFeed News reported on Sunday.

The controversial religious group has been recognised as Church of Almighty God (CAG) — a Christian sect, banned in China, that believes that Jesus Christ reincarnated as a Chinese woman who is currently living in Queens in the New York City.

twitter
A Twitter spokesperson said that the accounts were suspended due to spam violations, the report noted. Pixabay

The accounts were flagged due to what appeared to be co-ordinated amplification of content, according to a source familiar with how the CAG accounts were brought to Twitter’s attention and asked for anonymity to protect ongoing research, the report said.

However, the micro-blogging platform has chosen not to disclose any details about the CAG-affiliated suspended accounts.  A Twitter spokesperson said that the accounts were suspended due to spam violations, the report noted.

The CAG-affiliated Twitter accounts were among hundreds flagged as suspicious, based on initial work done by Noam Rotem and Yuval Adam, two Israeli researchers who study social media manipulation.

twitter
“Roughly 600 accounts have been removed by Twitter as a result of Rotem and Adam’s research, according to the source with knowledge of account removals,” the report added. Wikimedia

“Roughly 600 accounts have been removed by Twitter as a result of Rotem and Adam’s research, according to the source with knowledge of account removals,” the report added.

ALSO READ: NZ’s Privacy Commissioner Labels Facebook as “Morally Bankrupt Pathological Liars”

It remains unclear exactly why were these CAG accounts from Chinese people of Christian faith spreading mixed political messaging into their activity just days before the Israeli elections commence.

“BuzzFeed News did not identify any Hebrew-language CAG accounts spreading false or misleading information. Given the group’s acrimonious relationship with the Chinese government, its online activity is clearly not state-linked,” the report said. (IANS)

Next Story

Micro-blogging Site Twitter to Bring ‘Hide Replies’ Feature in June

“We are updating our rules in the next few weeks so they’re shorter, simpler and easier to understand,” they added

0
TWitter
The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

As part of the efforts to make its platform appear less toxic, Twitter is planning to give people an option to hide replies to their tweets, thereby giving users more control over the nature of conversation they would like to have on the platform.

“Starting in June, we’ll be experimenting with ways to give people more control over their conversations by giving them an option to hide replies to their Tweets,” Donald Hicks, Vice President, Twitter Service and David Gasca, Twitter’s Senior Director, Product Management, Health, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

While the feature has the potential to make trolls invisible, it could make it difficult for users to correct wrong statements made by others.

Other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram already give users much more power in terms of dealing with the comments to their posts, including the option to delete them.

Twitter last year said that making the platform free of abuse, spam and other things that distract from the public conversation is its top priority.

The microblogging site on Tuesday said it had got a lot faster and better at curbing abusive behaviour and hateful content.

Twitter, India, Smartphone
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“This time last year, 0 per cent of potentially abusive content was flagged to our teams for review proactively. Today, by using technology, 38 per cent of abusive content that’s enforced is surfaced proactively for human review instead of relying on reports from people using Twitter,” Hicks and Gasca wrote.

“The same technology we use to track spam, platform manipulation and other rule violations is helping us flag abusive Tweets to our team for review,” they said.

Twitter said 100,000 accounts were suspended for creating new accounts after a suspension during January-March 2019 — a 45 per cent increase from the same time last year.

Also Read- Mozilla Questions Apple’s Privacy Practice

With a focus on reviewing this type of content, Twitter said it had expanded its teams in key areas and geographies.

“We’ll make it easier for people who use Twitter to share specifics when reporting so we can take action faster, especially when it comes to protecting people’s physical safety,” Hicks and Gasca wrote.

“We are updating our rules in the next few weeks so they’re shorter, simpler and easier to understand,” they added. (IANS)