Twitter removes almost 4,800 accounts linked to Iranian government

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 14, 2019

Twitter Inc on Thursday said it removed thousands of accounts linked to coordinated, state-backed activities it believes were from the Iranian government and archived them to its public database launched a year ago.

Roth doesn't say in the post how the company determined that the thousands of accounts were tied to the Iranian government.

Social media giant Twitter on Thursday released a new archive of state-backed propaganda from accounts it has banned based in Iran, Russia, Spain, and Venezuela.

Social media firms like Twitter, Google and Facebook have been accused of allowing political propagandists to use their platforms to hijack elections, poison online debate and smear their opponents.

"We believe that people and organizations with the advantages of institutional power and which consciously abuse our service are not advancing healthy discourse but are actively working to undermine it", Twitter's head of site integrity, Yoel Roth, wrote in a June 13 blog post.

Another 248 accounts allegedly originating from Iran were removed from the platform because they "were more directly engaged with discussions related to Israel specifically".

The social-media company said most of the accounts were found to be spreading news stories angled to support Iranian geopolitical interests or to be fake user profiles created to manipulate online debate.

Other accounts shut down included 130 set up by supporters of Catalonian independence, 33 run by a "commercial entity in Venezuela and four Russian accounts used by the notorious Internet Research Agency (IRA)". Now the data set contains more than 30 million tweets and more than one terabyte of images and video.

Mr Roth said Twitter had collected all the suspect accounts it had removed since beginning its purge into a data set that it provided to researchers.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova and Security Commissioner Julian King are scheduled to brief reporters Friday on European efforts to fight political disinformation.

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