Twitter Removes 4,779 Accounts Associated With Iranian Government


The microblogging platform Twitter has removed 4,779 accounts, it believes "are associated with or directly backed by the Iranian government." The US platform said it had taken the material off its network, but would make it available to researchers and investigators studying online threats.
Twitter  released a new archive of state-backed propaganda from accounts it has banned based in Iran, Russia, Spain and Venezuela. But Twitter, in a blog post by head of site integrity Yoel Roth, said "transparency is core to our mission" and vowed to fight "misleading, deceptive, and spammy behaviour".

Twitter has previously targeted alleged Russian bots, and this archive contains four more accounts that the firm believes are associated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA).

Technology firms have been accused of allowing political propagandists to use social media to hijack elections, poison online debate and smear their opponents.

The firm's third such archive, representing more than 30 million tweets and a terabyte of media data from just under 5,000 suspected accounts.

Most of these were found to be spreading news stories angled to support Iranian geopolitical interests or to be fake user profiles designed to manipulate online debate. A smaller sub-group, originating in Iran, exclusively "engaged with discussions related to Israel".