Scores of new accounts affiliated with Gurbaksh Chahal recently cropped up on Twitter.
The accounts are all related to a "news network" BNN, founded by Chahal.
Twitter has now decided to suspend all of the accounts under its spam policy.
Twitter said it is suspending scores of new accounts purporting to be part of a "news network" called BNN founded by Gurbaksh Chahal, a one-time internet entrepreneur who was accused twice of domestic violence and battery and spent time in jail.
The accounts related in some form to BNN number near 80, according to a search of Twitter by Insider. The most popular of the group is the handle @BNNBreaking. Started in 2015, the account appears to have gained followers during the height of the pandemic as one that posted daily coronavirus case numbers. It's since morphed into an account that posts about daily news events with no links to published stories or citations.
A lawyer and writer, Matthew Cortland, recently called attention to the proliferation of BNN accounts, the rest of which were started in May. All of the accounts are described in their bios as being "founded by" Chahal. The landing page for BNN Networks claims it is "the future of breaking news" and criticizes the media for being "influenced and sways away from the complete version of truth."
Now, Twitter has decided to "permanently suspend" all of the BNN accounts, a company spokesperson told Insider. The enforcement action is being taken under Twitter's policy on spam and platform manipulation.
While the enforcement action may take some time to complete, the spokesperson said, it is underway. And all of the accounts will be permanently suspended. The spokesperson did not comment on how all the accounts became verified.
Chahal did not directly respond to an email seeking comment. Instead, he posted to Twitter the email Insider sent seeking comment, accusing Insider of "engineering" the enforcement action by Twitter.
Formerly a serial founder of tech companies, Chahal in 2013 was charged and convicted in San Francisco of domestic assault and battery against his then girlfriend and sentenced to three years probation. He claimed to be innocent but pleaded no contest. In 2016, his probation was revoked and he eventually spent six months in jail after a second incident of battery against another woman.
He has since gone on to found another company, Medriva, a supplier of COVID-19 tests, in addition to BNN.
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