Twitter shares closed lower in the US Friday, ahead of reports the microblogging social media site has removed around 10,000 accounts for encouraging voters to stay at home during the US mid-term election.
A separate study also shows there is evidence of co-ordinated action to keep fears over voter fraud in the public eye, during the past 12 months.
Twitter shares ended the US Friday trading session 0.92% lower at $34.30. The stock has been trading higher since its recent Q3 earnings release.
Twitter deletes accounts
Reports over the weekend show that Twitter has deleted some 10,000 accounts held by users purporting to be Democrats, discouraging US voters from voting in the US midterms. These accounts were removed during September and October.
Twitter had been alerted to the widespread, co-ordinated action, by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The DCCC was launched earlier in 2018 following the social media campaign against Hilary Clinton during the 2016 US election.
“We removed a series of accounts for engaging in attempts to share disinformation in an automated fashion – a violation of our policies. We stopped this quickly and at its source,” Twitter told CNN in a statement.
“For the election this year we have established open lines of communication and direct, easy escalation paths for state election officials, DHS, and campaign organizations from both major parties,” Twitter added.
Twitter also said that it is believed the accounts in question, originate from the US.
Meanwhile, a study shows that a group of 200 twitter accounts have been working together to raise fears over voter fraud in the US.
The group of researchers discovered that during the past 12 months or so, these accounts have been working together to ensure key hashtags, including #voterfraud, remain in circulation.
“In our investigation of what was behind the amplification of Voter Fraud, we found that there was a group of accounts consistently tweeting and retweeting narratives about #VoterFraud,” the report from a group of researchers said.
“The fact that the majority of these accounts also exhibited a surge of activity during their lifespan, where they grew in following and influence at an exponential rate, further indicated possible coordination,” the research adds.
“There’s an indication of a possible network of accounts dedicated to promoting division and conspiratorial narratives around Voter Fraud online,” it concludes.