Twitter Takes-Down Thousands Of Propaganda Accounts

Twitter has removed 3,465 state-backed accounts from its platform in an effort to limit the influence of information manipulation and disinformation campaigns on the site. In a statement, Twitter said they identified and removed eight different distinct operations that were traced back to China, Mexico, Russia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Venezuela. 

The accounts and content associated with the operations have been permanently removed from the social media platform.

Twitter reported that the majority of the accounts removed in the latest takedown were linked to China, with over 2,000 accounts amplifying Chinese Communist Party narratives related to the treatment of the Uyghur population. Another group of accounts was promoting Changyu Culture, a private company that is backed by the Xinjiang regional government. The social media platform also explained that Uganda had 418 accounts linked to inauthentic activity promoting the removal of Uganda's President Museveni.

It is not yet known how Twitter knew which accounts to remove, but their blog post gave the following outline:

  • China - 2,160 accounts linked to the Chinese state were removed
  • Uganda - 418 accounts linked to the Ugandan state were removed
  • Mexico - 276 accounts linked with the Mexican state were removed
  • Tanzania - 268 accounts linked to the Tanzanian state were removed
  • Venezuela - 277 accounts linked to the Venezuelan state were removed
  • Russia - 66 accounts linked to Russian state were removed

In addition to banning these accounts and the content shared by them, Twitter has shared relevant data from this disclosure with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and the Stanford Internet Observatory. 

The company said it will start the Twitter moderation research consortium in early 2022 to study platform governance issues. Meanwhile, the company also blocked users from sharing private images of other people without their consent, in a tightening of the network´s policy just a day after it changed CEOs.

Under the new rules, people who are not public figures can ask Twitter to take down pictures or videos of them that they report were posted without permission.

The company has also noted a “disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.” High-profile examples of online harassment include a barrages of racist, sexist and homophobic abuse on Twitch, the world´s biggest video game streaming site.

Twitter:     Reuters:      CityAM:     Oodaloop:     The Hindu:      ZDNet:     Daily Mail:     MMNews

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