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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the but-it-was-on-the-internets! dept.

Twitter suspends hundreds over #DCBlackout hoax:

Twitter has suspended hundreds of accounts for spreading claims about a Washington DC "blackout" which never happened.

Amid widespread civil unrest in the US, thousands of tweets using the #DCBlackout hashtag claimed that communications had been blocked in the capital to cripple protests.

But there was no evidence of this.

Twitter also said it had banned an account for inciting violence while impersonating a protest group.

The #DCBlackout hashtag trended on Twitter on Monday, with millions of tweets and retweets claiming that internet and phone communications were cut late in the night as the protests continued.

But reporters covering the protests had no such problems, and Twitter collated several of their tweets into a prominent link in Twitter's main website sidebar. An internet monitoring service also said there was no indication of any widespread disruption.

A Twitter spokesperson said the social media site had "suspended hundreds of spammy accounts" that used the #DCBlackout hashtag, citing the company's platform manipulation and spam policies.

[...] Prof Philip Howard from the Oxford Internet Institute said that while Twitter was taking action, conspiracy theories and polarising stories keep returning.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:13PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:13PM (#1002831)

    "Twitter also said it had banned an account for inciting violence while impersonating a protest group." I'm curious to know how Twitter was able to determine the account was impersonating a protest group.

    • (Score: 2) by ilPapa on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:00PM

      by ilPapa (2366) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:00PM (#1002865) Journal

      That's why silencing dissent is so evil.

      It's really not hard, if you pay attention. The bots and frauds are pretty easy to spot on social media.

      --
      You are still welcome on my lawn.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:04PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:04PM (#1002870)

      they have algorithms that check if your retweeters mostly have each other followed to fluff the numbers, but no outsiders apart from a few token celebrities.
      Real humans have dead-end connections (friends who post but don't really follow a lot of people), and connections outside of political groups.

      All the (Russian) bots are basically tweeting at each other and no one else. Pretty easy to spot.

      • (Score: 2) by The Vocal Minority on Thursday June 04 2020, @05:25AM

        by The Vocal Minority (2765) on Thursday June 04 2020, @05:25AM (#1003079) Journal

        Citation? The impression I have got is that the state sponsored trolls are pretty hard to spot as they tend to keep evolving the avoid any algorithms set up to catch them. However I don't use social media much - most of what I know about this topic comes form the series Everyday Engineering did on it.

    • (Score: 1) by AHuxley on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:53AM

      by AHuxley (254) on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:53AM (#1003068)

      Some offical protest groups are approved?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by hendrikboom on Thursday June 04 2020, @12:57PM

      by hendrikboom (1125) on Thursday June 04 2020, @12:57PM (#1003163) Homepage Journal

      Maybe the impersonated protest group complained?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:15PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:15PM (#1002834)

    That seemed to be happening in Seattle last night, although it could have been one bad internet connection.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:27PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:27PM (#1002842)

      yeah, i doubt the ISPs handle the increased load all that gracefully.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:58PM (#1002936)

        Oh yeah the gigabytes persecond each person was generating brought twitter to its knees and the ISPs just could not keep up!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:28PM (#1002843)

      Here in SoCal many live facebook streams of the local protests abruptly stopped. Even the news media wasn't around when shit went down. Some unusual tactics were used, namely a bunch of white ford pickups and local sheriffs.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:34PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:34PM (#1002850)

    thank goodness we have Daddy Twitter to decide what's true and what's not or sheople might have to think for themselves!

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:43PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:43PM (#1002856)

      Last time we let "sheople" think for themselves, we ended up with a fucking child-molesting psychopath as President of the United States.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:50PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:50PM (#1002888)

        we ended up with a fucking child-molesting psychopath as President of the United States.

        But Biden hasn't been elected yet.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:01PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:01PM (#1002866)

      Same as Pimp Daddy Fox, Goodfellas CNN, and every other single source.

      We need decentralized systems and real journalists to come back. Oddly eough the 1st was thought to be difficult, but the 2nd is proving harder. Who pays the journalists to spend weeks digging into stories and finding out the facts?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:21PM (#1002923)

        lol I specifically made that comment bipartisan mocking Fox and CNN, some real angry trolls around here

    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:19PM

      by Tork (3914) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:19PM (#1002965)
      Thank goodness we have a snarky AC to spout off nothing substantial to put us back on track. Thank you for your service!
      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:27PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:27PM (#1002969)

      If you don’t like it, take your 140 character commentary to some other equally worthless social media platform.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:41PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:41PM (#1002972)

        It's 280 characters now.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @12:59AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @12:59AM (#1003004)

          Oh, well, that’s different! Carry on, then!

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:45PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:45PM (#1002858)

    People were using "goodtwitter" for a reason, until they hit that with a hammer on Jun 1
    You could see all of the manipulations going on with tweets pretty easily with the old UI

    They also just disabled the 'inhibit ads' feature on phones.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:55PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:55PM (#1002863)

    Meanwhile, Twitter continues to allow an extreme far-right terrorist free reign to spew all the racism, hate, and calls to violence his fingers can type while shutting down an account (for posting content that "condones or celebrates acts of violence") that is simply copy-pasting verbatim the tweets from the terrorist:

    https://twitter.com/BizarreLazar/status/1267570556880076801 [twitter.com]

    Yes, he is a terrorist. Using chemical weapons to flagrantly violate the first amendment rights of hundreds of people in order to take photos for propaganda purposes is state terrorism. Period. End of discussion.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:00PM (7 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:00PM (#1002864)

    Unless you're Donald Trump of course.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by ilPapa on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:03PM (5 children)

      by ilPapa (2366) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:03PM (#1002868) Journal

      Congratulations on being the first non-Anonymous Coward to post in this story, after nine AC posts.

      If you don't think the trollbots are out in force even in little internet backwaters like Soylent News, you're not paying attention. (When I say "you" I don't mean you, Roscoe)

      --
      You are still welcome on my lawn.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:07PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:07PM (#1002874)

        This site doesn't need trollbots, it's already deeply in trump/putin's pocket, given the amount of racism proudly on display, even from the staff.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:28PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:28PM (#1002926)

          Well, in his ideological pocket, I highly doubt anyone on SN is getting paid for their drivel. If they are then I'm selling out! SHITPOST 4 LYFE!

        • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:23PM

          by Tork (3914) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:23PM (#1002966)
          I was wondering where a certain member of the SN staff is. Is he finally making good on his promise to load'em up and defend the public from government tyranny?
          --
          Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:18PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:18PM (#1002921)

        AC posts go up when it comes to politics - allow me to guess at a couple of reasons: I don't want passionate trolls dogpiling me posts to oblivion and filling it with responses of hate and personal attacks every time we post something because they disagreed with something I wrote 2 years previous. It's why I moved away from the green site. Another is, I don't trust our government. I'd be a complete and absolute fool to do so. If I can hide behind some kind of anonymous mask and make it *that* much more difficult to try me for thought-crimes in the future - I'm all for it.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:27PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:27PM (#1002968)

          It's just not worth it to jeopardize your future for some candid comment you make now that may lie outside the Overton Window 1, 5, 10, 20 years from now. The danger is not just from the government, but also from civilian mobs in the future.

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:24PM (#1002878)

      Had to FTFY

  • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:24PM (#1002924)

    Huh, I note a suspicious lack of activity from all the users who were hating on Twitter when Trump as attacking them. No strong words of condemnation in this case?

    Hmmm, I smell fresh hypocrisy the likes of which I haven't smelled since . . . yesterday!

    Oh brave freedom fighters, where art thou?

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