Twitter removes thousands of troll accounts linked to Egypt and Saudi Arabia
Twitter said Thursday it has removed thousands of accounts in Egypt and Saudi Arabia that allegedly took direction from governments or pushed pro-government content. "We removed 2,541 accounts in an Egypt-based network. The media group created inauthentic accounts to amplify messaging critical of Iran, Qatar and Turkey," the San Francisco-based tech firm posted in a series of tweets.
Twitter took down thousands of accounts linked to Indonesia, Honduras , Serbia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia on Thursday for either taking directions from the governments or promoting pro-government content.
Twitter and other social media companies are under pressure to clean up misinformation and hateful content on their platforms, while abuse related to the coronavirus outbreak has also increased scrutiny of their actions.
Twitter said it removed the accounts because they violated its policies and were a targeted attempt to undermine the public conversation.
It took down 2,541 accounts in the Egypt-based El Fagr network because it created fake accounts to amplify messages critical of Iran, Qatar, and Turkey.
"Information we gained externally indicates it was taking direction from the Egyptian government," Twitter said.
The company removed 3,104 fake accounts created from a single IP range in Honduras by a staffer on the government's behalf to retweet the president's account.
An investigation that followed a report by investigative website Bellingcat on an Indonesian information operation targeting the West Papuan independence movement resulted in the removal of 795 fake accounts.
Twitter also took down 5,350 accounts associated with Saudi Arabia and operating out of multiple countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates which had content praising the Saudi leadership and critical of Qatar and Turkish activity in Yemen.
A total of 8,558 accounts working to promote Serbia's ruling party and its leader was also removed.