Twitter suspends BernamaTV parody account

Twitter has suspended the account BermanaTV for violating its community standards. According to Twitter's website, common reasons for account suspension may include spam or fake accounts, if an account is suspected to have been hacked or compromised, or if the account has displays abusive tweets or behaviour.

Meanwhile in a statement on social media, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said the parody account was impersonating the image of Malaysia's national news agency Bernama and urged consumers to be aware of fake accounts on social media. The commission explained that these fake accounts are "deliberately created" to protect the individuals' true identities in order to deceive, arouse suspicion and divide society.

MCMC said it appreciates the action taken by Twitter based on the complaints it filed and warned that such account suspensions are reactive and temporary. It added that these accounts are likely to be re-created and the public needs to be vigilant in order to not be easily influenced by fake social media accounts.

Additionally, the commission said consumers can ensure the authenticity of the information they read online by following official channels and social media accounts that receive blue or grey verification badges from platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, among others. According to MCMC, the badge recognises that the social media account is owned by an established organisation and individual.

Bernama is not the only media outlet to have been a victim of parody accounts. Last month, Twitter suspended fake Associated Press (AP) accounts that posted unverified US election results. Reuters reported then that four accounts were suspended after making calls on the results of an undeclared swing state in the US elections that AP had not made. Meanwhile in 2018, the social media giant suspended about 70 million accounts from May to July to wipe out fake accounts on its platform.

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Photo courtesy: 123RF

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