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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

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A light gray box will appear before the tweet, notifying users that it's in violation, but it will remain available to them. 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.

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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.

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“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.

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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)

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Instagram Experiences Highest Outrage While Twitter Reports Least in Q4

The Facebook family of social media sites outage on November 28, 2019 was one of many social outages in Q4 2019

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A combined 34,408 Facebook and Instagram users reported outages. Pixabay

Facebook-owned Instagram experienced the highest outage in the fourth quarter of 2019 with 21,682 reports at the peak on November 28, 2019, while Twitter reported the least amount of outage complaints with 15,952 reports at the peak on October 22, 2019, according to a new report on Tuesday.

The Twitter outage lasted only about a half an hour, leaving unable to tweet, retweet, like tweets or access their account at the peak of the outage, according to the findings by Downdetector, a company which tracks outages in technology platforms and social media sites. Facebook also experienced an outage on November 28 with 12,726 reports at the peak. The outage lasted about five hours and affected users across the globe.

“The Facebook family of social media sites outage on November 28, 2019 was one of many social outages in Q4 2019. The outage lasted about five hours and affected users in the US, Germany, Italy and Spain,” said the report titled “What Went Down? The Most Significant Online Service Outages in Q4 2019”.

“A combined 34,408 Facebook and Instagram users reported outages at the peak of the outage,” it added. Facebook’s Messenger app experienced a smaller outage on November 18, 2019 with 8,952 users reporting outages at the peak.

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Facebook-owned Instagram experienced the highest outage in the fourth quarter of 2019 with 21,682 reports at the peak on November 28, 2019, while Twitter reported the least amount of outage complaints with 15,952 reports at the peak on October 22, 2019. Pixabay

Snapchat, the popular multimedia messaging app was down for five and a half hours on October 14, 2019, leaving users unable to chat, send or receive photos from their friends. At the peak of the outage, 18,252 users from the US reported problems.

The outage was so significant as the hashtag #SnapchatDown was trending on Twitter at the time of the outage.In the mobile operators category, Vodafone was down for about four hours for thousands of users on October 23, 2019.

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At the peak of the outage, 21,065 users, primarily in Germany, reported having problems with their service, said the report. (IANS)