• 6 News Australia

Twitter mass-suspends BNN accounts as BNO News apologises to followers - what you need-to-know

BNO News has been followed by hundreds of thousands for COVID-19 news throughout the pandemic.

BNO News has apologised for "letting down our followers" after Twitter mass-suspended dozens of accounts affiliated with BNN.


Earlier this year, BNO News says they were approached by a company - Medriva - to assist them with continuing COVID-19 coverage, after they planned to end it.


One of BNO's accounts - @BNODesk - was renamed briefly to 'BNO | Medriva Newsroom' and then latter to BNN Newsroom (@BNNBreaking).


A separate @BNODesk account was also created.


Accounts under the BNN name for seemingly every single country were also created. The majority of them appeared to solely retweet content from the main BNN account.


In the meantime, @BNONews & @BNODesk continued to tweet, though both accounts temporarily stopped for several weeks this month.


Today, BNO said that "without (our) involvement or endorsement, the account was used for practices that violated Twitter's terms of service, including mass following and mass retweeting."

BNO has now revealed that they have ended their agreement with Medriva, and regained full control of the BNN account.


The handle was changed to @BNONewsTemp, but that account was "caught up in the mass suspension of BNN-affiliated accounts."


Before being suspended, that account briefly had the message: "This account is no longer managed by BNN as of 28 June 2022."


BNN had recently come under fire for posting alleged misinformation.


Medriva CEO Gurbaksh Chahal says he's "aware of 3 media companies at least that have hired trolls/paid MSM companies to start another campaign by "reporting" BNN accounts."


BNO says Chahal "is not part of BNO, he does not have access to BNO accounts, and he does not have a stake in BNO."


Just before being suspended, @BNNBreaking/@BNONewsTemp had several hundred thousand followers.


BNO News has been covering the COVID-19 Pandemic since it began, with the original @BNNBreaking account (@BNODesk) solely covering the virus for over 2 years - including with a coronavirus tracker.


6 News has reached out to Gurbaksh Chahal for comment.


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