- The Washington Times - Monday, January 21, 2019

Twitter has suspended the account suspected of making go viral the misleadingly edited video of the Lincoln Memorial confrontation involving some Catholic high-school students, an Indian elder and a black hate group.

According to a report on CNN Business on Monday evening, Twitter suspended the account of @2020fight shortly after the network began asking questions about its truthfulness and some odd characteristics that suggested it might be a foreign troll.

The account posted a minute-long video Friday evening showed a selected portion of the confrontation with the caption, “This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March.”

The video already had appeared on the Instagram account of a bystander but, CNN wrote, “it was @2020fight’s caption that helped frame the news cycle.”

That version of the video, which did not show what had happened before and which context has caused numerous publications and pundits to walk back their condemnation of the boys from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, was viewed at least 2.5 million times and retweeted at least 14,400 times, CNN Business reported, citing a cached version of the tweet. In addition, numerous news outlets that then made the confrontation the biggest story of the weekend asked @2020fight about the video and who held the rights to it.

Rob McDonagh, an assistant editor at Storyful, told CNN the @2020fight video was the main one pushing the social media outrage.

According to CNN, the account claimed to be the tweets of a woman named Talia living in California, who set it up in December 2016 and identified herself as “Teacher & Advocate. Fighting for 2020.”

However, CNN reported, its profile photo was a blogger based in Brazil — a violation of Twitter’s terms of service, which bar impersonation.

There were other suspicious factors, according to Molly McKew, an information warfare researcher who saw the tweet and shared it herself Saturday.

She said she “later realized that a network of anonymous accounts were working to amplify the video,” CNN wrote.

“This is the new landscape: where bad actors monitor us and appropriate content that fits their needs. They know how to get it where they need to go so it amplifies naturally. And at this point, we are all conditioned to react and engage or deny in specific ways. And we all did,” Ms. McKew told CNN.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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