Twitter suspends fake Russian president Putin account

Twitter has suspended an account that purported to be the official English language feed of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The social media platform said it had suspended @putinRF_eng “for impersonation based on a valid report we received from Russian officials”.

The account was reportedly created in 2012 and posted mainly official links to Mr Putin’s public appearances.

It had accumulated nearly one million followers.

Many of its followers believed the account to be real, and it had featured in reports by the BBC and others.

Twitter said, after receiving advice from Russian officials, the account breached its impersonation policy, which states: “Twitter accounts portraying another person in a confusing or deceptive manner may be permanently suspended”.

There is an official Kremlin Twitter account. It is not yet clear who was behind @putinRF_eng.

This is not the first time Twitter users have been deceived by fake accounts. Earlier this year, an account in the name of American investor Warren Buffett amassed some 2m likes for a tweet offering motivational advice for young people. But the lack of a blue verification tick and the wrong spelling of Mr Buffett’s name alerted the eagle-eyed to the fact it was fake.

  

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