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Twitter fights interference, deletes 5,929 Saudi accounts

Twitter said Friday it suspended thousands of accounts linked to a "state-backed" manipulation effort stemming from Saudi Arabia. The online service said nearly 6,000 accounts being blocked were linked to Saudi "information operations" in violation of Twitter's platform manipulation rules.
Twitter said Friday it suspended thousands of accounts linked to a "state-backed" manipulation effort stemming from Saudi Arabia. The online service said nearly 6,000 accounts being blocked were linked to Saudi "information operations" in violation of Twitter's platform manipulation rules. Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

NEW YORK — Twitter has identified and removed nearly 6,000 accounts that it said were part of a coordinated effort by Saudi government agencies and individuals to advance the country’s geopolitical interests.

The crackdown came as tech companies step up efforts to tackle misinformation on their services ahead of next year’s US presidential election.

Twitter’s announcement underscores the fact that misinformation concerns aren’t limited to the US and Russia.

In a blog post Friday, Twitter said the removed Saudi accounts were amplifying messages favorable to Saudi authorities, mainly through “aggressive liking, retweeting, and replying.”

The Twitter accounts were linked to a social media marketing firm in Saudi Arabia.

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