Twitter Reportedly Bans 100 'I Stand With Putin' Accounts For 'Inauthentic Behavior'

Twitter has banned at least 100 accounts promoting the hashtag “I Stand With Putin” for “inauthentic coordinated behavior,” indicating that the messages are a propaganda assault supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NBC News reported.

A spokesperson for Twitter told NBC Friday that an investigation is continuing into who is behind the accounts praising Russian President Vladimir Putin and his ruthless military operation, which violated Twitter’s policy against “platform manipulation and spam policy.”

The hashtag trended briefly on Twitter, but scores of accounts retweeting the messages had only had a few dozen followers, NBC noted. They also used stock photos for messages and profile pictures, which often indicates fake accounts.

The hashtag is still being used on Twitter, but much of the tweets are discussing banned accounts or attacking the pro-Putin sentiment.

The suspicious tweets were apparently first flagged by Marc Owen Jones, an assistant professor of Middle East studies and digital humanities at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar.

“They’re not bots. They’re a lot harder to check than that,” Jones told NBC. “Imagine a call center setup. Think of the amount of damage you can do.”

Jones shared his analysis of some 20,000 interactions linked to pro-Putin hashtags on his Twitter account earlier this week.

Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Reddit have restricted Russian state media access on their platforms since Putin launched the Ukrainian invasion.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.