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Twitter Bans Krassenstein Brothers For Operating Fake Accounts, Buying Interactions

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On Thursday evening, the accounts of the well-known Twitter trolls Ed and Brian Krassenstein were suspended.

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The two became both famous and infamous for their constant replies to President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, generally with calls for his impeachment.

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Between the two, they had nearly 2 million Twitter followers, and were often the top response to Trump’s Tweets.

With their suspensions, it appears to answer why they were always on top.

According to a Twitter spokesman they were engaging in inauthentic behavior by operating fake accounts and buying account interactions:

“Operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing account interactions are strictly prohibited. Engaging in these behaviors will result in permanent suspension from the service.”

Their partner at their “news” website Hill Reporter, James Kosur, confirmed the suspensions, but stated that he has not received a response from Twitter.

https://twitter.com/JamesKosur/status/1131703662961713152

The Krassenstein brothers responded to the ban on their website, Hill Reporter, where they deny any wrongdoing, and claim Twitter was mistaken:

“We never “purchased account interactions,” nor did we ever “sell usernames” or buy usernames.  We did operate multiple accounts, but there were only a few of them and they were not used to “mislead” or “manipulate Twitter.”  If Twitter investigated this thoroughly they would clearly see this.”

They go into detail about the “multiple accounts,” detailing that they were simply used to track threats made against them from figures that have blocked them.

“Over the past 2 1/2 years as our tweets became more and more political in nature, people began posting our phone numbers, our wives phone numbers, our home addresses, and photos of our homes, neighborhoods, and children.  These users had blocked us and the only way to see Tweet-replies that they were making to others was to use another account.  We were in constant communication with a contact at the FBI who we would send the threats that we had receive to.  We had sent the FBI multiple death threats we had received in the mail, from people we believe got our address from others on Twitter.  This is the only reason we used these two additional accounts.  Again we never used them to manipulate or mislead anyone.”

Ed and Brian Krassenstein have also responded with a more detailed open letter to Twitter which you can read by clicking here.

Big League Politics will update this story as more information is available.

UPDATE: Comment from Ed and Brian Krassenstein was added. 

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Twitter Posts Job Posting for Developing Paid Subscription Service; Will Platform Become Pay-to-Use?

Will it lead to the downfall of the platform?

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Shares for Twitter’s stock surged more than 8% on Wednesday as the company posted an online job listing for a developer who would work on a new system designed as a pay-to-use platform.

The job listing advertises the opening for a project team termed “Gryphon.” The company describes the team as creating a “subscription platform” that “can be reused by other teams in the future.”

In a statement to CNN on the job listing, Twitter underplayed the announcement, stating that it was only a job listing, not a product announcement.

We’re conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck. We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.

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CEO Jack Dorsey has resisted shareholder demands to reorganize Twitter to prioritize profitability, most recently fending off a buyout attempt staged by oligarch Paul Singer challenging his leadership of the company. Dorsey kept his position of power over the company after reaching an agreement with profit-hungry shareholders, and the new development of paid subscription software could signal he intends to further satisfy them.

The company’s major investors will likely be pleased by any sign the company intends to convert its service into a pay-to-use model, evolving away from the tradition business model of micro-targeted ads towards its user base. However, a change to a subscription model could prove to be a threat to Twitter’s appeal, especially when newer free speech platforms are gunning for the platform’s user base and the company caves to the demands of censorious liberal journalists in suspending a variety of public figures deemed inconvenient to the neoliberal societal model.

Ultimately, the greed and thirst for power of the privileged elites of Silicon Valley could possibly bring about an end to their era of domination over online political speech, heralding a renaissance of the internet.

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