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Twitter removes over 4,700 accounts associated with the Iranian government

Twitter

Twitter has removed 4,779 accounts connected to the Iranian government for using fake personas, spreading misinformation and manipulating the platform, all of which violate Twitter's rules. The company believes that the accounts are associated with, or directly backed by, the Iranian government. In addition, the company removed 4 Russian accounts, 130 Spanish accounts, and 33 Venezuelan accounts for the same reasons. This is the latest incident of Twitter cracking down on violative accounts connected to state-backed actors. Twitter said its aim is "to differentiate between coordinated manipulative behaviour and legitimate speech from individuals and political parties". For privacy reasons, Twitter discloses only those data sets that it is able to reliably associate with state-affiliated actors. The company does not reveal information about individuals or accounts not affiliated with a state actor. Removal of Iranian accounts The 4,779 accounts that Twitter removed originated in Iran and behaved in three different ways: Platform manipulation (1,666 accounts): These originated in Iran and cumulatively tweeted nearly 2 million times. They engaged in platform manipulation in contravention of Twitter’s rules as they tweeted global news content "often with an angle that benefited the diplomatic and geostrategic views of the Iranian state". Engaging in discussions related to Israel specifically (248 accounts) Fake accounts (2,885 accounts): These accounts used false personas to target conversations about political and social issues in Iran and globally. Yoel Roth, the head of site integrity at Twitter, had tweeted about these accounts last month. He had said that several of these accounts…

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