Twitter said Friday it has closed down thousands of accounts across the world for spreading fake news as well as pro-government propaganda including in places like the United Arab Emirates, China, and Spain.
Accounts coming from China seeking to sow discord among protesters in Hong Kong were closed down, as well as accounts amplifying a pro-Saudi message coming from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates directed at Qatar and Yemen, Twitter said, in a blog post.
Fake news accounts were also suspended in Spain and Ecuador.
In addition to this, Facebook also removed 65 Facebook accounts and 35 Instagram accounts involved in coordinated inauthentic behaviour as part of their domestic-focused network in Spain.
The three social media biggies, Facebook, Twitter, and Google have been under immense scrutiny since the 2016 American presidential elections as it was found that Russian-backed pages and accounts were found influencing American voters.
Twitter has also removed a network of 267 accounts from the UAE and Egypt.
"We have removed a network of 267 accounts originating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt. These accounts were interconnected in their goals and tactics: a multi-faceted information operation primarily targeting Qatar, and other countries such as Iran. It also amplified messaging supportive of the Saudi government. " - Twitter Blog
Countries like Spain, Ecuador, and China as well have been roped into this. In terms of numbers, China had 4,302 accounts which were removed while Spain and Ecuador had 259 and 1,019 accounts removed from their network. respectively.
The account suspension is permanent according to Twitter’s policies and the platform reps have said that they will continue to enhance and refine their approach to disclosing state-affiliated information operations on the service.
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