– Advertisement – Twitter and Facebook on Tuesday suspended several recently created and mostly right-leaning news accounts posting information about voting in the hotly contested US election for violating their policies.Twitter said the accounts had been suspended for violating its policy against “coordination” by posting identical content while appearing independent or engaging in other covertly automated behaviour.- Advertisement – Other accounts suspended by Twitter included FJNewsReporter, Crisis_Intel and Faytuks. Some of the accounts in the past suggested that readers follow the others.Facebook also suspended several accounts behind US-based pages called SV News and FJ News, citing inauthentic behaviour. The SV page had more than 20,000 followers.Some of the suspended accounts were closely read by the media in Russia, which has been accused of meddling in the 2016 election. Both SVNewsAlerts and Faytuks, which had only 11,000 followers, have had their tweets highlighted dozens of times in state-controlled Sputnik and RT, as observed by researcher Chris Scott and confirmed by Reuters.- Advertisement – One of those suspended, SVNewsAlerts, had more than 78,000 Twitter followers, after adding more than 10,000 in the past week.The account frequently warned of election-related unrest and highlighted issues with voting safety and reliability. It pointed to fraud claims about Democrats and called attention to Republican President Donald Trump’s rallies and speeches.In fact, few if any major disruptions were reported at polling sites on Tuesday as civil liberties groups and law enforcement were on high alert for any interference with voters.- Advertisement – Even as social media companies took action, false or exaggerated reports about voting fraud and delays at the polls circulated throughout the day, in some cases helped along by official Republican accounts and online publications.The FBI and the New York attorney general also said they were looking into a spate of mysterious robocalls urging people to stay home, which were reported in multiple battleground states.Twitter appended fact-checking labels to multiple tweets from the @PhillyGOP account, which was among those using the hashtag #StopTheSteal. The Philadelphia Republican Party did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the Twitter labels.Far-right sites Breitbart and The Gateway Pundit both published articles claiming “the steal is on” in Pennsylvania that racked up thousands of shares on Facebook and Twitter.#StopTheSteal spiked from a few dozen mentions to more than 2,000 mentions over a 15-minute period in the morning, according to media intelligence firm Zignal Labs.Zignal said unfounded claims about closed polling stations and excessively long lines in Republican-leaning areas in Pennsylvania, one of the most closely contested states, received more than 33,000 mentions on Twitter.Alex Stamos, former chief technology officer of Facebook and now director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, told reporters there were coordinated efforts to deliberately blow some problems out of proportion.“Specifically in Pennsylvania – to say this example is a demonstration of something nefarious going on, and not just the kind of random mistake that happens all the time,” he said on a call organised by the Election Integrity Partnership.In one video shared widely among conservative audiences, including by both of Trump’s sons, a Trump poll-watcher was seen being turned away from a site. The video was viewed 2.5 million times on Twitter.Philadelphia officials investigated and concluded the man had mistakenly been barred under an expired law, which required authorisation to enter a specific polling spot. He was then admitted.Followers of the conspiracy movement QAnon also spread the Pennsylvania reports, according to researchers at misinformation tracking firm Alethea Group.© Thomson Reuters 2020Are iPhone 12 mini, HomePod mini the Perfect Apple Devices for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
The management of Voltic (GH) Limited, producers of Ghana’s leading water brand, has congratulated the winners of this year’s Accra Milo Marathon for their display of hard work and endurance during the 42.2 kilometer event.The event saw Alhaji Mohammed Kassim of the Ghana Air Force beating into second place last year’s winner from Kenya, Alex Kimeli, and Elizabeth Bortsor, 22, a police officer, successfully defending her title in style.Voltic (GH) Limited, which was a co-sponsor of the event, in a statement noted with pride the successful organization of this year’s marathon.Brands Manager of Voltic (GH) Limited, Ms. Ama Armah stressed that the 27th edition of the Accra Milo Marathon will go into the history books as the best organized event by the Dansoman Keep Fit Club and Nestle Ghana Limited and that Voltic was very proud to be associated with it.Ms. Armah said Voltic decided to sponsor the marathon because “the human body survives on water and doctors recommend regular water intake to keep the body hydrated at all times. Drinking water contributes to a healthy lifestyle; ensuring this water is of the highest quality and purity takes on added importance for a marathon performance. Voltic (Gh) Limited co-sponsored the marathon because we wanted to be there for all runners, ensuring that dehydration did not rob them of their dreams. Voltic’s natural mineral content provides pure and highly effective hydration for athletes. It is these natural minerals that make Voltic different from other brands on the market.”According to Ms. Armah, as a corporate institution, Voltic believes that it is important to give back to a society that patronizes its products, and therefore take delight in sponsoring a wide range of activities and projects that are important to communities. The Accra Milo Marathon is no doubt one of the most anticipated events on the Ghanaian sporting calendar. “The success of this year’s edition has justified our desire to maintain Voltic’s ongoing support of the Accra Milo Marathon” Ms. Armah added.Voltic’s sponsorship package comprised a supply of water for all the athletes before, during and after the event. The company also gave prizes to selected winners (1st, 2nd & 3rd) in each of the four categories. The prize package included Voltic souvenirs and a year’s supply of Voltic Natural Mineral water with varying quantities for each category. Guests and invited dignitaries were also refreshed with Voltic Natural Mineral Water during the awards ceremony.