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Fake US Presidential Election Accounts Are Increasing Rapidly On X, Says Study

A recent study has said that fake accounts posting about the US presidential election are proliferating on the social media platform X. This is according to a social media analysis company’s report shared ahead of its release on Friday.

Analysts from Israeli tech company Cyabra found that 15% of X accounts praising former president Donald Trump and criticising President Joe Biden are fake. The report also found that 7% of accounts praising Biden and criticizing Trump are fake.

Fake posts on X

Cyabra’s study is based on a review of posts on the X platform for over two months. This began from March 1. The analysis shows that newly detected fake accounts had increased up to tenfold during March and April. The report cites 12,391 inauthentic pro-Trump profiles out of 94,363 total and 803 inauthentic pro-Biden profiles out of 10,065 total.

A spokesperson for X did not respond to a request for comment about the fake accounts, nor did representatives from the White House and Trump campaign.

Role of X in run-up to elections

X and other social media platforms have been under greater scrutiny since 2016. This was when Russia was accused of having interfered in the US presidential election in an attempt to boost Trump’s candidacy. Election officials and online misinformation experts are again watching for misleading narratives ahead of the 2024 election.

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Cyabra said it made that determination based on evidence including the use of identical hashtags and the fact that fake accounts published posts and comments at the same time. The report found that the fake pro-Trump accounts pushed two main messages: “Vote for Trump” and “Biden is the worst president the US has ever had.”

X downplays issue

X has long downplayed the use of fake accounts on its platform. It said in May 2022 that fewer than 5% of its daily active users were “false or spam.” This was based on an internal review of accounts. At the time, Cyabra had estimated that 13.7% of Twitter profiles were inauthentic.