Twitter removes hundred of accounts tied to Iran, Russia

Twitter removes hundred of accounts tied to Iran, Russia
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Twitter announced on Wednesday that it had removed hundreds of accounts linked to Iran, Russia and Armenia for violating its platform manipulation policies.

In a blog post, the social media giant said the accounts, which were permanently suspended, attempted to interfere with the 2020 presidential election and in some cases posed as government officials.

The social platform suspended a total of 238 accounts linked to Iran, 35 accounts with ties to the Armenian government and 100 accounts connected to Russia, the blog post says.

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Twitter's platform manipulation policy says users "may not use Twitter’s services in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on Twitter."

Accounts connected to Iran, many of which Twitter described as having "low engagement and did not make an impact on the public conversation," and "attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate," were also added to its archive of state-linked information operations. The archive monitors accounts that have had a history of attempting to manipulate the site, according to Twitter.

Suspended Twitter accounts that were connected to Armenia were found to impersonate political figures and news organizations as well as and engage in "spammy activity to gain followers and further amplify this narrative," the blog post says.

Russian accounts that were permanently suspended from the platform reportedly amplified messaging aligned with the Russian government. 

"Since we launched our first archive in October 2018, we have disclosed data related to more than 85,000 accounts associated with platform manipulation campaigns originating from 20 countries, to our information operations archive," the company said in the blog post. "We believe we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of the public conversation and to offer transparency on our findings."

Earlier this year, Twitter launched a user forum called “Birdwatch” to combat misinformation. The new feature allows users to comment and provide context to tweets.