Yet another Zimbabwean government-affiliated Twitter account has been placed under temporary restrictions. This time it’s the Ministry of Health’s Twitter account. Earlier this week, the account of Information Secretary Nick Mangwana was placed under temporary restrictions. The assumption of that ban was that it may have had something to do with Twitter’s fake followers. The information secretary’s account has however been restored. The Ministry of Health’s Twitter account is the latest government account to prompt action from Twitter. The account when visited looks like this:
The temporary ban of the Ministry of Health’s (MoHCC) account means that the account cannot post, like or retweet. This is especially concerning because the MoHCC won’t be able to post COVID-19 updates. If we are to use the same SparkToro tool we used on Information Secretary Nick Mangwana’s account:
It reveals that account, for its size, has a large proportion of fake followers for an account. This correlates to Twitter’s fake follower policy but the problem is here, if this assumption is true, is that this is account is vital for information dissemination. They can still post on other platforms like Facebook and their website. However, in the situation we are facing, it is imperative that this information makes its way to as many people and on as many platforms as possible.
If it is indeed true that fake followers are going to be a problem for govt accounts then they could maybe employ tools to purge inactive accounts. Applications like Circleboom, for example, offer users the ability to get rid of inactive accounts.
It’s worth noting that this could be caused by something else entirely. Whatever that cause may be, the govt needs to make sure that its accounts abide by the policies of the platforms they are on.
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