Russian bot-in-chief? Twitter blocks ‘fake Putin’ who lured over 1mn followers in 6 years

Russian bot-in-chief? Twitter blocks ‘fake Putin’ who lured over 1mn followers in 6 years It took Twitter six years to realize that the account, with over a million followers, had nothing to do with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has for long maintained that he has no time to waste on social media.

“We suspended for impersonation based on a valid report we received from Russian officials,” Twitter announced this week, going on to reassure Reuters that the account had never been affiliated with Putin.

Over long years since its inception, the lured more than a million gullible followers with quite convincing and authentic-looking tweets. Even officials repeatedly used the unverified handle in to the Russian president.

In apparent disbelief that in the Trump era it was still possible for a self-respecting politician to live without a personal Twitter account, Business Insider even rolled out a  earlier this year analyzing those few chosen ones ‘followed by Putin.’

“I don‘t have a smartphone,” the 66yo president  this year, reiterating that he has almost no social media footprint. With most of his communications handled by press secretary Dmitry Peskov, the Russian leader is present on Twitter only through the official and accounts, which, instead of being a conduit for Putin’s personal thoughts, cover Kremlin news in general, the old-fashioned way.

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