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Twitter Discloses Removal of State-linked Information Operations

Twitter removes more than 3,000 accounts related to state-linked information operations

Today, Twitter published a comprehensive, public archive of data related to state-backed information operations. through a blog post, Twitter disclosed 3,465 accounts to their above subject archive. 

According to the blogpost, the account sets include eight different operations which have been attributed to the following six countries – Mexico, the People's Republic of China (PRC), Russia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Venezuela. Twitter mentioned that all the above accounts and content related to the operations have been permanently removed from Twitter.

Twitter noted that they have shared relevant data from this disclosure with three leading research partners: the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Cazadores de Fake News, and the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), and all the associated accounts were suspended for various violations of our platform manipulation and spam policies.

The following information was outlined regarding the above-mentioned operations-

Mexico

  • We removed a network of 276 inauthentic accounts that shared primarily civic content, in support of government initiatives related to public health and political parties.

People’s Republic of China

  • We removed a network of accounts that amplified Chinese Communist Party narratives related to the treatment of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang. Today, we’re releasing a representative sample of 2,048 accounts.
  • We also removed a network of 112 accounts connected to “Changyu Culture,” a private company backed by the Xinjiang regional government.

Russia

  • We removed a network of 16 accounts linked to the IRA that attempted an information operation in the Central African Republic.
  • The operation relied on a mix of inauthentic and real accounts to introduce a pro-Russia viewpoint into Central African political discourse.
  • We also removed a network of 50 accounts that attacked the civilian Libyan government and actors that support it, while voicing significant support for Russia’s geopolitical position in Libya and Syria.

Tanzania

  • We removed a network of 268 accounts utilized to file bad faith reports on Twitter, targeting members and supporters of FichuaTanzania and its founder.
  • A subset of accounts also Tweeted pro-government content primarily associated with #chaguamagufuli2020. 

Uganda

  • We removed a network of 418 accounts engaged in coordinated inauthentic activity in support of Ugandan presidential incumbent Museveni and his party, National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Venezuela

  • We removed a network of 277 Venezuelan accounts that amplified accounts, hashtags, and topics in support of the government and its official narratives.
  • Many of the individuals behind this abuse had authorized an app, “Twitter Patria,” to access their accounts and timelines.
  • We suspended the “Twitter Patria” app, a set of account holders leveraging and managing it, and a series of similar apps.
The above steps have been taken to protect the integrity of the public conversation and to offer meaningful transparency. Twitter assured to assess their principles and approach to these critical disclosures and will work towards maintaining the transparency over service. 

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