Twitter Culls 10,000 More State-Sponsored Accounts
Twitter has removed another 10,000 accounts across six countries after discovering coordinated activity among nation states designed to spread misinformation.
The move comes nearly a year after the social network first began efforts at uncovering state-sponsored propaganda efforts using fake accounts. Since then, it has announced new discoveries in January, June and August this year.
Chinese efforts to spread misinformation about Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters appears to be showing no signs of slowing down. On top of the network of 200,000 fake accounts disclosed in August, Twitter has added another 4301 which it said were attempting to “sow discord” about the protests.
Elsewhere, 4248 accounts were suspended in the UAE for “often employing false personae and tweeting about regional issues, such as the Yemeni Civil War and the Houthi Movement.”
A further network of 271 accounts in Egypt and the UAE were focused on spreading misinformation about Qatar and other countries such as Iran.
Twitter also suspended 1019 fake accounts in Ecuador linked to the PAIS Alliance party for a propaganda operation supporting President Moreno’s administration.
A further 259 accounts were suspended in Spain, once again linked to a major political party – this time the right-wing Partido Popular.
As per previous culls, Twitter has permanently suspended the flagged accounts and made available an archive of removed tweets for researchers to study.
“Nearly one year on, the archive is now the largest of its kind in the industry. Thousands of researchers have made use of these data sets that contain millions of individual Tweets and more than one terabyte of media. Using our archive, these researchers have conducted their own investigations and shared their insights and independent analyses with the world,” the firm explained.
“Transparency and openness are deep-seated values at the heart of Twitter which define and guide our methodology around these disclosures. Going forward, we will continue to enhance and refine our approach to disclosing state-affiliated information operations on our service.”