Ahead of vote, Twitter says accounts removed over 'disinformation'

05 November, 2018, 00:19 | Author: Carlos George
  • Twitter reportedly removes over 10,000 accounts that discourage voting

Twitter has removed thousands of automated accounts that were posting messages discouraging people from voting in Tuesday's midterm elections.

Although the numbers are modest as compared to the vast scores of account taken down by social media giants after Russia's purported role in influencing USA presidential elections 2016 came to light, it would add as fodder for the Democratic Party to charge the Donald Trump-led Republicans of using misinformation for malicious gains.

CNN said the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had alerted Twitter to the accounts, which were removed in late September and early October.

Twitter this week took down 10, 000 accounts encouraging voter suppression, Reuters revealed this week.

A Twitter representative confirmed to CNET that the social media site deleted automated accounts sharing misinformation, but couldn't confirm the 10,000 figure. This is reported by Reuters.

The accounts made it appear as if the misleading information was coming from Democrats, which it was not.

The DCCC had faced flak in 2016 when it failed to check the propaganda unleashed against the then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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It is noted that the calls were published allegedly on behalf of the US Democratic Party, but party representatives denied their involvement in the publication of such messages and notified Twitter about this.

A user can identify automated accounts, also known as bots, and analyse how they spread information.

The bill would make it illegal to use the bots to influence voting.

The Democratic National Committee works with a group of contractors and partners to rapidly identify misinformation campaigns.

The collaboration with RoBhat has already led to the discovery of malicious accounts and posts, which were referred to social media companies and other campaign officials, DNC Chief Technology Officer Raffi Krikorian said in email.

He did not say if these flagged posts were subsequently removed by Twitter.

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