As Twitter continuously tries to get a handle on its bots problem, at least one real-life human has gotten caught up in the purge.
The Associated Press wrote about a 70-year-old grandmother named Nina Tomasieski who tweets from the handle @MAGANinaJo. Tomasieski, in fact, tweets so much about President Donald Trump and her love for the MAGA cause that Twitter, on multiple occasions, has banned or frozen her account because the social-media site’s system identified her account as a bot.
So, how much tweeting will get you labeled as a bot or spam? Apparently, it’s tweeting for about 14 hours a day and sending out thousands of tweets and retweets during that time frame. Tomasieski has more than 52,000 followers who have received more than 246,000 tweets from her account, where she tweets things like this.
In the past day, she also has retweeted accusations that Twitter is racist, that the Hillary Clinton campaign colluded with Russia, and that the left act like Nazis.
And Tomasiesk—who lives in Tennessee—isn’t the only one to be mistaken for a bot.
A woman named Cynthia Smith apparently believed she had been shadow banned, meaning that when she tweets, nobody can see it. The term shadow banning has become a conservative rallying cry in recent weeks with right-wing accounts accusing Twitter of trying to censor them and keeping their from appearing in the site’s search function (for the record, Twitter denied that it shadow bans).
“I’m a gal in Southern California,” Smith told the AP. “I am no bot.”
In a recent blog post, Twitter said its system had detected 9.9 million spam or bot accounts. Last December, that number was 6.4 million, and in September, it was 3.2 million.
Twitter also wrote, “Due to technology and process improvements during the past year, we are now removing 214 percent more accounts for violating our spam policies on a year-on-year basis.” The AP, though, noted that Twitter realizes the potential for “false positives.”
More from the AP:
Tomasieski and her conservative friends use so-called Twitter “rooms” — which operate using the group messaging function — to amplify their voices.
She participates in about 10 rooms, each with 50 members who are invited in once they hit a certain number of followers. That number varies, but “newbies” might have around 3,000, Tomasieski says. Some have far more.
Everyone in the room tweets their own material and also retweets everyone else’s. So a tweet that Tomasieski sends may be seen by her roughly 51,000 followers, but then be retweeted by dozens more people, each of whom may have 50,000 or more followers.
Still, despite all of the troubles she’s encountered, Tomasieski said her massive amount of Twitter usage has been worth it.
“There is as much enthusiasm today as there was when Trump was elected,” she said. “It’s very quiet, but it’s there. My job is to get them to the polls. That’s rewarding. I go to bed feeling like I have accomplished something.”
H/T Business Insider