– 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.
Thunder forward Kevin Durant scored basically any time he wanted, posting 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting against a Lakers rookie (Anthony Brown) and an unproven defender (Nick Young). On one play, Durant even crossed over Lakers forward Julius Randle before performing an up-and-under over center Robert Sacre.• RELATED: Can LA’s young core entice Durant this offseason?The Lakers (4-23) lost to Oklahoma City (18-9) well before it was over. They shot 8.3 percent from 3-point range in the first half. They also posted 41 points, which nearly matched the season-low 35 they scored against Indiana last month. Afterward, Lakers coach Byron Scott reported telling his players “it was pathetic in every area” after finishing with their worst loss to the Seattle/Oklahoma City franchise.“Kobe’s fearless. These guys looked like they were scared tonight or intimidated,” Scott said. “We didn’t come to compete and they just played harder than we did. It looked like we were in awe of that team.” Amid Bryant’s absence, no one appeared ready to carry his mantle. Randle had two points on 1-of-7 shooting in 25 minutes off the bench. D’Angelo Russell posted a quiet 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting and five assists, and often did not have the chance to run the offense. But no one sounded thrilled with Scott questioning their courage. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error OKLAHOMA CITY >> The farewell tour came to a screeching halt. The Lakers’ losing stayed on schedule. Kobe Bryant missed the Lakers’ 118-78 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday at Chesapeake Energy Arena after feeling soreness in his right shoulder. But he maintained he “should be” healthy enough to play in Tuesday’s game against Denver.“It was logical to expect it to be sore at some point,” Bryant said after having what he called “heavy-duty surgery” to repair a torn rotator cuff last January. “I just have to get ahead of it and rest.”The Lakers felt pain in another way, and their problems might not be temporary. Said Russell: “I can only speak for myself. I’m definitely not scared.”Said Randle: “We didn’t have energy. We didn’t play with energy. We didn’t play as a team. But we definitely weren’t scared.”The lone bright spots included Lou Williams (20 points), Jordan Clarkson (15) and Young (14). “It’s embarrassing,” Clarkson said. “I don’t know if I was scared. They just outcompeted us.” Everything circles back to Bryant, who is playing his 20th and final NBA season after experiencing three season-ending ailments in the past two years. But Bryant downplayed throwing down his first dunk of the season on Thursday against Houston.“I’m sure it didn’t help,” Bryant said. “It was (sore) before then.”But what if that causes Bryant to sit out more games?“It just means it was a more thunderous dunk than we all thought,” Bryant joked.Yet, Oklahoma City doctors determined Bryant’s shoulder soreness isn’t serious. He also does not plan to return to Los Angeles for any additional checkups.But even as Bryant spoke in a calm tone, he did not take his absence lightly knowing the pockets of Lakers fans that traveled here to see him for possibly one last time. “It helped me out a little bit because I know I’m coming back,” said Bryant, whose last game in Oklahoma City will be on April 11. “But I still want to make sure I’m ready to play for the rest of the games this season and make sure I’m healthy.”With how they played on Saturday, it appears doubtful the Lakers can recover as quickly.