Twitter Suspending Bloomberg Bots for Coordinated Fake Engagement
Twitter began suspending more than 70 pro-Michael Bloomberg accounts from its platform on Friday, citing supposed inauthentic and coordinated behavior.
The platform was alerted to the suspicious behavior by the Los Angeles Times, and shortly after began suspending the accounts.
The reports of the Bloomberg bots are reminiscent of the claims of Russian bots waging influence campaigns in U.S elections. Both operations apparently involve scripted messaging, fake political engagement, and platform manipulation.
Evidence of identical messaging being spread by dubious pro-Bloomberg accounts was published by the Los Angeles Times in their report on the matter Friday.
A statement from Twitter on the suspensions confirmed the Bloomberg shill accounts violated the platform’s rules by “creating multiple accounts to post duplicative content” and “coordinating with or compensating others to engage in artificial engagement or amplification, even if the people involved use only one account.”
The accounts avoid direct connections to the Bloomberg campaign, in an attempt to avoid being identified as coordinated shill accounts.
Bloomberg is paying a considerable cohort of “deputy field organizers” $2,500 a month to shill for the New York oligarch on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The messaging strategy is relatively unprecedented in American politics, offering cash directly for a constant stream of political messaging on personal social media accounts.
The Bloomberg campaign claims that paid deputy field organizers are required to identify their affiliation with the campaign in a statement regarding the suspensions. As Bloomberg’s online social media strategy copies a page from the book of supposed malicious Russian bots, high-ranking U.S intelligence community personnel are claiming that the Russian bots are active once again in attempts to promote the campaigns of both Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump.