Twitter Discloses Networks of State-Linked Followers

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Micro-Blogging Platform Twitter Discloses Networks of State-Linked Information Operation

Twitter is a place where the latest conversations happen. It is also a platform where the public can get the latest information about a plethora of topics. 

Moreover, the company wants to remain transparent to everyone. For this reason, the company has disclosed its networks of state-linked information operations. This network of accounts to Twitter’s archives is notably the only kind in the industry. 

Micro-Blogging Platform Twitter Discloses Networks of State-Linked Information Operation

According to Twitter’s blog post, the networks that they have disclosed are related to independent and state-affiliated information that it has attributed to Russia and Armenia. It also includes a previously disclosed network from Iran. 

The social media giant added that after it has completed its investigations, it permanently suspended a total of 373 associated accounts across the four networks due to violations of the platform’s manipulation policies. And similar to the previous disclosures that the company did, it shared early access to the data that it has released with the Stanford Internet Observatory. The move is for independent analysis and investigation. 

The Disclosed State-Linked Twitter Followers Information

Iran

In this country, Twitter was able to take down approximately 130 accounts. All of them were proved to have been attempting to disrupt the public conversation when the first 2020 US Presidential Debate happened. To track all of these accounts, the social media giant proactively communicated with the FBI. It also based its decision on the information that the FBI provided to the company. 

After the company has completed the final investigation, Twitter was able to suspend a total of 238 accounts that are operating from Iran. These accounts were taken down due to a number of violations of the company’s platform manipulation policies. All of the accounts had low engagement and did not make any impact on the public conversation. These accounts might be related to the low-quality websites allowing you to buy Twitter followers(that nobody recommends).

Armenia

In Armenia, the micro-blogging company has investigated and removed 35 Twitter accounts under the platform manipulation policy. All of these accounts were seen to have ties to the Government of Armenia. Another thing that the company found out during its investigation is that the suspended accounts were made in order to advance narratives that were geostrategically favorable to the Armenian government. The accounts were also advancing narratives that were targeting Azerbaijan. 

Moreover, there are some cases when the fake accounts were seen to represent political and government figures in Azerbaijan. Some are even stating that they are news entities that are operating in the said country. Additionally, these fake accounts engaged in spammy activities so they could gain followers. The activities that they engaged in also aimed to amplify the aforementioned narratives.

Micro-Blogging Platform Twitter Discloses Networks of State-Linked Information Operation

Russia

The social media giant disclosed two separate networks that are related to Russia. 

First, the company’s first investigation found and has taken down a total of 69 fake Twitter accounts. All of them can be reliably tied to Russian state actors. Apart from that, several of them were seen to have amplified Russian government-aligned narratives. On the other hand, another subset of this network was focused on undermining the faith of people in the NATO alliance and stability.

The second network is related to another investigation that the social media giant did in the region. During the second investigation, the company took down 31 accounts that came from two networks. These networks both showed signs of affiliation with the IRA or the Internet Research Agency as well as Russian government-linked actors. Moreover, they amplified narratives that have been associated with the IRA before. They were also connected with other Russian influence efforts that were targeting the US and European Union. 

Twitter’s Work in Combating Fake Accounts

According to Twitter, every disclosure that is making aims to continuously educate people about the tactics that state actors use so they can undermine or manipulate the open democratic conversation happening on Twitter. 

The social media giant first launched its first archive two years ago. Ever since then, it has already disclosed data that are related to more than 85,000 accounts. All of them were associated with platform manipulation campaigns that originated from 20 countries. People can view this data to Twitter’s information operations archive. 

Moreover, the company believes that it has a responsibility to protect the public conversation’s integrity and offer the utmost transparency on its findings. Simultaneously, people still want more followers on Twitter, so they look for sites to buy Twitter followers to this day.

Furthermore, the social media giant’s partnerships in the said area are the major reasons why it succeeds in the work that it undertakes. In addition, it promises to continue its efforts in keeping the platform’s archives updated. This way, the public, journalists, as well as the research community will be able to access and analyze the said networks. 

The Information Operation Archives of Twitter

Twitter is known for its principles of transparency. It also works constantly to improve the understanding of people about the inauthentic influence campaigns. But apart from that, the company is making archives publicly available so that the people and media will have access to the platform’s state-linked information operations.

Micro-Blogging Platform Twitter Discloses Networks of State-Linked Information Operation

The company believes that it has a responsibility to protect the public conversation’s integrity. That includes the timely disclosure of information about the attempts of manipulating Twitter to influence elections as well as civic conversations by domestic or foreign state-linked entities. The social media giant believes that it should inform the public and research community with utmost transparency. 

Moreover, transparency has always been an important part of the company from the very start. It even considerably expanded this dataset with a number of updates for the past couple of years. In fact, Twitter is the only company that offers such a level of transparency and granularity. 

Twitter says that it is still learning, evolving, as well as building a technological and personnel-driven approach so that it can combat inauthentic influence campaigns. 

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