Twitter discloses over 32,000 fake accounts with state links to China, Russia, and Turkey
What you need to know
- Twitter has added more than 32,000 accounts to its archive of state-linked information operations.
- The accounts and tweets are linked to "state-backed operations".
- The data is designed to help support "broad analysis."
Twitter has added more than 32,000 accounts to its archive of information it believes comes from state-backed information operations in China, Russia, and Turkey.
In a post Friday Twitter stated:
All of the accounts have been suspended for "various violations" of Twitter's platform manipulation policies which are designed to stop people from using Twitter to "artificially amplify or suppress information" to manipulate or disrupt people's experience on Twitter", for example, using multiple accounts to post content and create fake engagement. The data itself is largely hashed where it pertains to accounts of 5,000 followers and is meant large scale data analysis, rather than public perusal.
Over 23,000 of the accounts come from China, and that's just the "highly engaged core network", a further 150,000 accounts were found to be boosting the content from the core network, however, these accounts aren't included in the disclosure. The accounts typically had low follower counts and engagement, and "failed to achieve considerable traction." So what exactly were they doing? According to the report:
More than 1,100 accounts disclosed from Russia were found to be "cross-posting and amplifying content in an inauthentic, coordinated manner for political ends", including promoting the United Russia party and "attacking political dissidents."
Finally, a network of over 7,300 fake or compromised accounts was found to be amplifying "political narratives favorable to the AK Parti" and demonstrating "strong support for President Erdogan."
Twitter says its ultimate goal is to serve public conversation by removing "bad-faith actors" and to "advance public understanding of these critical topics." You can read the full report here.
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