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Conservative users say Twitter removing thousands of followers

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The hashtag #TwitterLockOut was a top trending USA term on Twitter Wednesday.

Another company, privately held online publisher Medium, recently removed accounts belonging to far-right USA commentators including Mike Cernovich, who said on his Twitter account on Wednesday that Medium was acting unlawfully.

The firm allows automated software to be used to send tweets under some circumstances, but forbids the posted content from being misleading.

"This is a company that's under a lot of heat to clean up its act in terms of how its platform has been exploited to spread misinformation and junk news", said Samantha Bradshaw from the University of Oxford's Computational Propaganda Project.

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Russian-linked Twitter bots shared Donald Trump's tweets nearly half a million times during the final months of the 2016 presidential election.

"The Words of Day Are "Twitter Purge" On Tuesday Night, Most of Us Lost Thousand of Followers". That includes trending topics and hashtags created or posted "with an intent to subvert or manipulate the topic, or to artificially inflate the prominence of a hashtag or topic". Twitter has also been criticized by US lawmakers for not taking the Russian bot scourge seriously enough. On the flip side, progressive users say Twitter doesn't do enough to stop harassment against women and people of color. "Our systems regularly look for suspicious account behaviors and we proactively take action on accounts that behave in spammy ways, including by requesting additional details like asking account owners to confirm a phone number".

Conservatives have long accused Twitter of targeting them specifically. "That's why some people may be experiencing suspensions or locks". "This is part of our ongoing, comprehensive efforts to make Twitter safer and healthier for everyone". Shown her is a Twitter sign outside of the company's headquarters in San Francisco in 2016. "Chuck" Johnson sued Twitter, alleging the company violated his right to free speech when it permanently suspended his account in 2015 after he asked for donations to "take out" civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson.

On Friday, the office of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies, including St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency known for trolling on social media.

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