Trolls paid for Twitter's promoted tweets service to spread anti-trans message

The trolls impersonated a feminist to post the message

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The Independent Tech

Twitter trolls have caused outrage by paying to use the service's promoted tweets function to spread a message attacking trans people.

Sponsored tweets are designed to enable business to pay for messages which target potential customers.

However, trolls impersonating Australian activist and feminist Caitlin Roper used the advertising service on Wednesday to spread an offensive tweet calling on trans people to kill themselves.

The tweet read: “Trannies, getting surgery won’t change your gender. It will only turn you into a deformed freak. End your miserable existence. Kill yourself”.

Angered users quickly reported the hateful messages, and demanded that Twitter explain why it was allowed to be promoted. 

The account has since been suspended and the tweet removed, The Guardian reported.

Caitlin Roper has tweeted to clarify that her identity was stolen by trolls, and thanked users for their help.

The trolls were likely inspired by hacker and white nationalist Andrew Auernheimer, who also goes by the name weev, after he bought a tweet declaring that white people are dying out.

The incidents come after Twitter announced that it was taking better control over what is allowed on the website, which included a ban on indirect threats of violence.

A Twitter spokesperson told The Guardian: “As soon as we were made aware we removed the ad and suspended the account”, but it remains unknown how the tweet was allowed to appear on the site.

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