Fake Black Trump supporters appear mysteriously on Twitter, reach thousands, then vanish

Then, on Sunday, the account was gone — suspended by Twitter for breaking its rules against platform manipulation.

The remarkable reach of @CopJrCliff and other fake accounts from supposed Black Trump supporters highlights how an account can be effective at pushing misleading narratives in just a few days — faster than Twitter can take it down.

A network of more than two dozen similar accounts, many of them using identical language in their tweets, recently has generated more than 265,000 retweets or other amplifying “mentions” on Twitter, according to Clemson University social media researcher Darren Linvill, who has been tracking them since last weekend. Several had tens of thousands of followers, and all but one have now been suspended.

Researchers call fake accounts featuring supposed Black users “digital blackface,” a reference to the now-disgraced tactic of White people darkening their faces for film or musical performances intended to mimic African Americans.

Many of the accounts used profile pictures of Black men taken from news reports or other sources. Several of the accounts claimed to be from members of groups with pro-Trump leanings, including veterans, police officers, steelworkers, businessmen and avid Christians. One of the fake accounts had, in the place of a profile photo, the words “black man photo” — a hint of sloppiness by the network’s creators.

“It’s asymmetrical warfare,” said Linvill, lead researcher for the Clemson University Media Forensics Hub. “They don’t have to last long. And they are so cheap to produce that you can get a lot of traction without a whole lot of work. Thank you, Twitter.”

Linvill said he found some evidence of foreign origins of the network, with a few traces of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet appearing in online records of the accounts. One account previously tweeted to promote an escort service in

Killer Mike’s majority Black and Latin-American owned online bank already has ‘tens of thousands’ on the waiting list



a man looking at the camera: Rapper Killer Mike. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images


© Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images
Rapper Killer Mike. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

  • A majority Black and Latin-American owned and operated digital bank already has “tens of thousands” of people on its waiting list ahead of its January opening, CNN Business reported. 
  • The new bank, founded by Bounce TV founder Ryan Glover, rapper “Killer Mike,” and former Atlanta Mayor and US Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young, aims to support Black and Latin-American communities, Black-owned businesses, and Black entrepreneurs. 
  • Over the past few months, companies including Square and Netflix have announced support initiatives for Black-owned financial institutions to address racial inequality. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A majority Black and Latin-American owned and operated online bank set to open in January already has “tens of thousands” on the waiting list seeking an account, CNN Business reported.

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Greenwood is a digital bank that was founded by Bounce TV founder Ryan Glover, rapper “Killer Mike,” and former Atlanta Mayor and US Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young that was “inspired by the early 1900’s Greenwood District, where recirculation of Black wealth occurred all day, every day, and where Black businesses thrived,” according to its website. 

Its mission statement describes how the platform is aiming to supplement “the current financial system, [which] has failed Black and Latinx communities.”

Glover told CNN Business that although Greenwood has been in the works since early last year, the killing of George Floyd that sparked nationwide movements against systemic racism also increased interest in the company. 

Gallery: The top 10 metro areas where Black and Latinx founders are securing the most funding to build their companies (Business Insider)

‘Tens of thousands’ waiting for Killer Mike’s new Black-owned bank

  • A majority Black and Latin-American owned and operated digital bank already has “tens of thousands” of people on its waiting list ahead of its January opening, CNN Business reported. 
  • The new bank, founded by Bounce TV founder Ryan Glover, rapper “Killer Mike,” and former Atlanta Mayor and US Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young, aims to support Black and Latin-American communities, Black-owned businesses, and Black entrepreneurs. 
  • Over the past few months, companies including Square and Netflix have announced support initiatives for Black-owned financial institutions to address racial inequality. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A majority Black and Latin-American owned and operated online bank set to open in January already has “tens of thousands” on the waiting list seeking an account, CNN Business reported.

Greenwood is a digital bank that was founded by Bounce TV founder Ryan Glover, rapper “Killer Mike,” and former Atlanta Mayor and US Ambassador to the UN Andrew Young that was “inspired by the early 1900’s Greenwood District, where recirculation of Black wealth occurred all day, every day, and where Black businesses thrived,” according to its website. 

Its mission statement describes how the platform is aiming to supplement “the current financial system, [which] has failed Black and Latinx communities.”

Glover told CNN Business that although Greenwood has been in the works since early last year, the killing of George Floyd that sparked nationwide movements against systemic racism also increased interest in the company. 

Some of the biggest companies in the US have announced support programs for Black-owned financial institutions in recent months.

In September, Square, founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, invested $100 million to address racial inequality in the financial industry. Square donated millions to funding for Black and minority-owned financial institutions and banks. In July, Netflix moved $100 million of cash reserves to minority-led

Broadband Internet Pilot to Support Access to Healthcare, Jobs and Education for Thousands in Rural Virginia

– Projects in the Northern Neck, Surry and Botetourt counties will help bridge the digital divide in Virginia through partnerships with Internet Service Providers

– Pilot projects will help improve economic and education opportunities related to broadband access in unserved areas of Virginia, if approved

– Dominion Energy Virginia to serve as middle mile provider, enabled by the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018

RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Residents in rural parts of Virginia could gain access to broadband internet critical for jobs, healthcare and education under three pilot projects proposed Oct. 1 by Dominion Energy Virginia.  


(PRNewsfoto/Dominion Energy)

Thanks to support from the Virginia General Assembly and collaboration with electric cooperatives and Internet Service Providers, the proposed Rural Broadband Pilot projects would extend broadband internet to citizens in Surry County, Botetourt County and the Northern Neck, if approved by the State Corporation Commission. The proposal includes nearly 300 miles of middle-mile fiber and would cost approximately $29 million to construct.

“With so many Virginians working and learning from home due to COVID-19, access to reliable internet is an absolute necessity,” said Ed Baine, president of Dominion Energy Virginia. “We hope these partnerships are the first of many, and we’re optimistic about how much these efforts could help communities here in our home state.”

More than 500,000 Virginians still live without easy access to high-speed internet. Extending broadband internet access would support economic development, social equity, public safety, educational opportunities, and healthcare services for citizens of the Commonwealth.

In rural areas, it’s not cost effective for Internet Service Providers to lay the fiber necessary to reach less-populated communities with broadband internet. Dominion Energy is in a unique position to help bridge the digital gap. The company is installing new infrastructure as it moves forward

Rolling out Slack to thousands of users on a college campus

Officials at Arizona State University discuss how their implementation went enterprise-wide during the pandemic at the Slack Frontiers conference.

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Image: iStockphoto/oatawa

Deploying new technology to the masses is always a challenge, but as Arizona State University discovered, the stakes are higher in a pandemic. The university is using Slack as a “digital hub” to enable real-time communications and collaboration, officials said during a session at the Slack Frontiers conference Thursday.

With 120,000 students, “Scale is all about making sure the community is engaged,” said Samantha Becker, an executive director of creative and communications at ASU. “We broke it down by trying to understand what the community wants and needs.”

Officials did not take an “If we have Slack available they will come” approach, Becker said. “We wanted to find out what they wanted out of the communication hub.”

SEE: 
Slack Frontiers: Reassessing collaboration in a virtual world

 (TechRepublic)

Find the champions

In trying to inspire people to use a new tool to get to scale, “you don’t go it alone with a single team responsible for adoption,” added Warick Pond, executive director in strategic implementation at ASU.

He said it was important to create a “champions network” of people who shared what they use Slack for. Previously, many people may have viewed it as a tool for instant messaging and were not aware “how Slack can be used for day-to-day work and collaborations,” Pond said.

The strategy for campus-wide deployment started by putting together a cross-functional team of faculty, students, and staff, and making sure everyone “understood their role so they didn’t just join the team and ask what they were doing here,” Pond said.

“We did not treat it as an enterprise implementation,” he added. “We created personas to represent the masses and held jam sessions or focus groups