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Richard Roeper suspended after allegedly buying Twitter followers

The probe into the film critic's social media account follows a New York Times report this weekend on Twitter bots.

Roger Ebert Memorial Tribute

Film critic Richard Roeper has been suspended by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Michael Roman/Getty

The Chicago Sun-Times said it won't publish reviews or columns by Richard Roeper, the influential movie critic, while it investigates allegations that he bought Twitter followers.

The newspaper made the announcement Monday night. "We became aware over the weekend of issues relating to Rich Roeper's Twitter account," Sun-Times Editor-in-Chief Chris Fusco said in a statement. "We're investigating these issues. We will not be publishing any reviews or columns by Rich until this investigation is complete."

Roeper didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The investigation follows a report by The New York Times over the weekend on fake Twitter followers. Roeper currently has more than 224,000 followers. The Times report didn't say how many followers he might have bought.

Roeper's suspension comes as social media giants including Twitter and Facebook reckon with how their platforms have been gamed and abused. The two companies, along with Google, testified before Congress last year regarding how Russian agents used bots on their platforms to spread misinformation and sow discord among Americans.