SPONSORED:

Twitter removes 20,000 fake accounts tied to Egyptian, Saudi and other governments

Twitter removes 20,000 fake accounts tied to Egyptian, Saudi and other governments
© Getty

Twitter removed 20,000 fake accounts tied to the governments of several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Serbia, for violating company policy.

Government-linked accounts of Honduras and Indonesia were also removed after Twitter determined the posts from all five governments were an "attempt to undermine the public conversation," according to The Guardian.

Yoel Roth, head of Twitter's site integrity, told The Guardian the removed accounts were demonstrative of the company's efforts to "work to detect and investigate state-backed information operations."

ADVERTISEMENT

The removals included 8,558 accounts linked to the Serbian Progressive party of the country's president, Aleksandar Vučić. The accounts were found to be spreading positive news of Vučić’s government and attacking his political opponents.

The company also deleted 5,350 accounts linking back to the Saudi monarchy that were operating in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, according to The Guardian.

These accounts were found to be spreading messages praising Saudi leadership and seeking to diminish the reputation of Qatar and Turkish presences in Yemen.

Twitter also removed 2,541 accounts linked to the pro-government El Fagr newspaper, which were spreading critical posts of Iran, Qatar and Turkey.

"These behaviors are in violation of our policies and are a targeted attempt to undermine the public conversation," a statement from Twitter said, according to The Guardian.

Twitter did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill.

ADVERTISEMENT

Niam Yaraghi, a partner at the Brookings Institution's Center for Technology Innovation, said the deletion of the accounts was mainly of symbolic importance, since the accounts could be easily replaced. 

He said the quantity of accounts deleted was "just a drop in the ocean" compared to the number of accounts still active.

"They'll have some psychological impact, probably, but I'm very doubtful they will have any real tangible impact on anything important," Yaraghi said.