Putin’s Kremlin Bots Boot Thousands of Ukrainian Accounts Off Twitter


Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
9th January, 2016


According to users, many pages were blocked due to complaints from Russian bots.

The social network Twitter has blocked many accounts of a  pro-Ukrainian nature, as was reported by users of the online services. According to them, Twitter suspended more than 200 accounts. In particular, the blocked accounts feature Yevgen Konoplyanka, Pasha Petrychenko, Ukrainian Forces, “Mirotovorets” Center, Bloody pastor, Lisovy brother and News of Ukraine, which had close to 500 thousand folowers.

According to users, accounts were blocked due to complaints from Russian bots for insults to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.

Also, social networks pointed out that they are deliberately destroying the Ukrainian part of the online service, and the action itself has been pre-prepared.

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“Tens of thousands pre-registered virtual usernames with egg avatars*,” one user wrote on the social network. “The list of the most famous Ukrainian micro bloggers is prepared. Next, they search Twitter, find the “bad” word in the tweets of the victim. Then “strike” the victim with a swarm of ‘egg’ accounts, which automatically, without the active participation of the people, write complaints”. After thousands of complaints the social network is blocking such accounts.

Prior to this Twitter had tightened security rules and suspended the operation of accounts for the slightest of breaches. In connection with the blocking of community ambassador of Ukraine in Finland Andrey Olefirov, the technical support of Twitter has already been messaged. He also urged members to take screenshots to prove the intentional nature of the ban bots.

In social networks tags were created, #saveUAtwi and #JeSuisUkrTwi, to use in tweets. 

*[O.R: Twitter accounts with egg avatars simply mean the user has not uploaded a profile picture, thus the default ‘egg’ is used. This is usually the sign of a troll or bot]

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