Twitter Admits It Verified Fake Accounts – While Banning Conservatives

Twitter Chairman and Square CEO Jack Dorsey moderates a panel discussion with Detroit entrepreneurs at Techonomy Detroit at Wayne State University September 17, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. The topic of the discussion was 'Turbocharging Detroit's Teconomy.' (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty, Bill Pugliano/Getty

Twitter has admitted it added its verification checkmark, meant to ensure the public that an account is authentic, to a number of fake accounts run by bots. The platform’s shoddy verifications come after the blacklisting of high profile conservatives such as James O’Keefe, who before his banning was refused verification by the platform despite a constant flow of fake accounts mimicking him to confuse the public.

9to5Mac reports that Twitter mistakenly verified a number of fake accounts. This week, a data scientist and Twitter user with the account name Conspirador Norteño pointed to six verified accounts that did not meet Twitter’s verification criteria that had received blue checkmarks. All six accounts appear to be part of a botnet posting Korean spam.

The Daily Dot reports that Twitter has now admitted that it made a mistake in verifying the accounts.

“We mistakenly approved the verification applications of a small number of inauthentic (fake) accounts.,” a Twitter spokesperson said. “We have now permanently suspended the accounts in question, and removed their verified badge, under our platform manipulation and spam policy.”

However, Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former chief security officer, suggested that the mass verification could have been an inside job. “You might have a malicious or bribed insider,” Stamos tweeted. “Something similar happened at IG (paid off by spammers, in that case).”

Stamos did update his tweet, adding: “UPDATE: I’ve heard they ruled out a malicious insider. Looking forward to hearing about what happened.”

Breitbart News has previously published a full guide explaining how to spot fake accounts across social media. Interestingly, Twitter seems capable of accidentally verifying random bot accounts but unable to verify legitimate conservative figures.

Investigative journalist and Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe was permanently blacklisted by Twitter in April of this year. Breitbart News wrote at the time:

James O’Keefe, the founder of the investigative journalism organization Project Veritas, has been permanently blacklisted by Twitter, just as his organization releases bombshell undercover footage showing senior CNN employees admitting to using “propaganda.” @Project_Veritas, the organization’s official account, has also been suspended.

In a comment to Breitbart News, a Twitter spokeswoman said the suspension was permanent. This comes directly after O’Keefe and Project Veritas publicly embarrassed the far-left news network CNN.

Twitter has also “mistakenly” censored journalism from Project Veritas that revealed that thousands of immigrants were forced to sleep in tight quarters at a Texas detention center following the implementation of Joe Biden’s immigration plan. Breitbart News reported:

Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe posted a video featuring a compilation of the photos to Twitter on Monday morning. The video was promptly hidden behind a filter claiming the content was “potentially sensitive,” requiring users with the sensitive content filter to click through the warning message in order to see it.

A Twitter spokeswoman told Breitbart News that the “potentially sensitive content” warning was “incorrectly applied by one of our automated tools and it has since been removed.”

Read more at Breitbart News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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