Twitter bans fake account of Russian President Vladimir Putin for "impersonation"

11/30/2018
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Twitter bans fake account that purported to be the official English-language channel of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Registerd in 2012, Account used to has over one million followers, and reports also says that the real Putin had been following his imitator for the past several years.

The reports suggest that the account (which is now removed) @putinRF_eng was believed to be Putin's english-language presence on Twitter, complete with a profile pic of the statesman and a cover photo of the Kremlin. Twitter said it had received reports from Russian officials that the account was in violation of the platform’s impersonation policies.

As featured in several reports from news companies like The BBC, this fake account also posts official links to Putin's public appearances. In a tweet, Twitter said "We suspended @putinRF_eng for impersonation based on a valid report we received from Russian officials." and shared a link to its impersonation policy page, which states that "Impersonation is a violation of the Twitter Rules. Twitter accounts portraying another person in a confusing or deceptive manner may be permanently suspended under the Twitter impersonation policy."

According to Engadget,Earlier this year, Twitter revealed it had suspended 70 million accounts in May and June as part of its fight against misinformation. Many of those were believed to be bots and retweet-spamming accounts. Before that, in 2017, it had removed more than 200 Russian-backed bot accounts. Of those, 22 were matched to the Russian Facebook pages that had bought ads to sow divisiveness among the American public during the 2016 presidential election.

Bloomberg linked to the account alongside an official op-ed from Putin in 2017, and it’s been cited in a number of other reports. Politicians fell for it too, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who tagged it in several posts earlier this year. Numerous other people who were at one point or another very mad online about the Russians have also tagged the account, like Irish boxer Michael Conlan. gizmodo reported

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