Covington students, viral videos Nathan Phillips: Twitter suspended accounts that helped spark controversy


The account is claimed to belong to a California school teacher. His profile photo is not from a school teacher, but from a blogger based in Brazil, CNN Business found. Twitter suspended the account immediately after CNN Business asked it.

Account, with the username @ 2020fight, was founded in December 2016 and looks like a tweet from a woman named Talia who lives in California. "Teachers & Lawyers. Fight for 2020," the bio reads. Since the beginning of this year, the account has tweeted an average of 130 times a day and has more than 40,000 followers.

On Friday night, the account posted a one-minute video that showed the iconic confrontation now between a native American elder and high school students, with the title, "This loser happily upsets Native American protesters in the Indigenous People of March."

The video version was watched at least 2.5 million times and retweeted at least 14,400 times, according to the cached version of the tweet seen by CNN Business.

The video shared by @ 2020fight does not show what preceded the confrontation between Native American elders and middle school students.

The video was posted earlier on Instagram by someone at the event, but the description @ 2020fight that helped frame the news cycle.

Rob McDonagh, an assistant editor at Storyful, a service that checks online content, is monitoring Twitter activity on Saturday morning and says the fight video @ 2020f is the main version of the incident shared on social media.

In one viral indicator video @ 2020fight, several editorial rooms, including several American national outlets, reached users who asked them directly about the video.

McDonagh said he found the account suspicious because of "high number of followers, highly polarized and inconsistent political messaging, unusually high tweets, and the use of other people's images in profile photos."

Molly McKew, an information war researcher who saw a tweet and shared it himself on Saturday, said he later realized that an anonymous account network was working to strengthen the video.
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Speaking of the nature of fake accounts on social media, McKew told CNN Business, "This is a new landscape: where evil actors monitor us and content that suits their needs. They know how to get it where they need to go so that it strengthens naturally. And at this point, we are all conditioned to react and engage or deny in a certain way. And we all do it. "

The Twitter rule prohibits users from making "fake and misleading accounts," and shortly after CNN Business asked Twitter about the account, the account was suspended.

A Twitter spokesman told CNN Business, "A deliberate attempt to manipulate public conversations on Twitter using misleading account information is a violation of the Twitter Rules."

CNN Business was unable to reach the person, or people, behind the account, to ask if they were indeed California school teachers who chose to use other people's photos. As soon as we show on Twitter that the account uses a different profile picture of women, the account blocks this reporter.


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