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Twitter and Facebook shut down accounts linked to youth conservative group's misleading social media campaign

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, speaks at the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum during the NRA annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Friday, May 4, 2018. President??Donald Trump??delivered a strong sign of support for the National Rifle Association at its annual meeting on Friday, as gun-rights advocates regroup in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Twitter and Facebook have shut down accounts on their platforms reportedly linked to a misleading social media campaign run by Turning Point Action, an offshoot of popular conservative youth activist organization Turning Point USA.

(CNN)Twitter and Facebook have shut down accounts on their platforms reportedly linked to a misleading social media campaign run by Turning Point Action, an offshoot of popular conservative youth activist organization Turning Point USA.

The steps from the social media giants come after The Washington Post reported that Turning Point Action had paid teenagers to flood the platforms with conservative talking points, which included disinformation and misleading claims.

The campaign, the Post reported, functioned like a troll farm but had evaded disruption because it was carried out by humans who used their own accounts without disclosing that they were posting on behalf of Turning Point Action.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told CNN the platform had removed multiple accounts for violating its policies on having and maintaining multiple accounts.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed multiple accounts had been removed for violations of their policies on platform manipulation and spam.

Both platforms said they are continuing to review the accounts The Washington Post said were part of Turning Point Action's campaign.

Austin Smith, the field director of Turning Point Action, explained to the Post in a statement "like everyone else, Turning Point Action's plans for nationwide in-person events and activities were completely disrupted by the pandemic. "

Turning Point USA told CNN it has no comment on the Washington Post report.

Concerns over misinformation on social media have been at the forefront of the presidential election as platforms have struggled with how to handle a President who eagerly shares rumors, unverified viral videos and conspiracy theories.

Additionally, Facebook announced earlier this month that people associated with the infamous St. Petersburg troll group that was part of Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election are trying to target Americans again.

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