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Twitter suspends over 300 accounts of Marcos Jr. ‘supporters’

Social media platform Twitter disclosed Friday that over 300 accounts from the supporter base of former senator and presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. have been suspended.

According to Twitter, it has conducted a review on the accounts and hashtags recently mentioned by a Rappler report. The report said these accounts and hashtags have since dominated Twitter for their supposed "propaganda work."

Twitter said it had suspended more than 300 accounts "for violating our platform manipulation and spam policy - the majority of which had already been taken down as part of our routine actions before the article was published."

It noted that a probe into the matter is still ongoing.

In a statement, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos' spokesman, questioned the certainty that the suspended accounts belong to the supporters of the former senator.

"While it is true that there could have been hundreds of Twitter accounts that were suspended, there is no certainty that all of them belong to the supporters of Bongbong Marcos," he said.

Twitter said that when it identifies information operation campaigns that it can reliably attribute to state-linked activity — either domestic or foreign-led — "we disclose them to our public archive — the largest of its kind in the industry."

Inauthentic engagement, which includes but not limited to selling/purchasing tweets or account metric inflation (retweets, likes, mentions, Twitter poll votes), is a violation and we will take action on accounts engaging in this behavior, which may include permanent suspension, Twitter warned.

According to a Twitter spokesperson, platform manipulation, spam and other attempts to undermine the public conversation are a violation of the regulations of Twitter.

Twitter, however, clarified that it is not against its rules to voluntarily share political content on a Twitter account or rallying people to do so via hashtags, unless the said accounts are inauthentic, compensated or automated.

The social media platform's spokesperson said the firm remains vigilant on  identifying and eliminating suspected information campaigns targeting election conversations.

"We are committed to working with all relevant governments - including COMELEC - and civil society stakeholders as well as domain specialists and subject matter experts tackling the complex challenges to free and open elections," the Twitter spokesperson said.

Marcos camp

Rodriguez said  their camp commends Twitter for keeping a close watch against platform manipulation, spam and other attempts to "undermine the public conversation through its operating system."

"However, we would like to warn the Twitter management against an online news network which uses its platform to advance the political agenda of a certain presidential aspirant by using a disinformation network to take down what it alleged as disinformation network." he said.

He noted that the the Twitter executive did not also mention any account in Marcos network or the exact number of accounts that were suspended.—LDF, GMA News