Twitter removed 130 accounts with links to Iran during US presidential debate

midian182

Posts: 6,091   +50
Staff member
What just happened? The US election is on the horizon, and, as expected, misinformation originating from foreign sources is landing on social media. Earlier this week, Twitter removed 130 accounts that were trying to disrupt public conversation around the first presidential debate. It appears that the accounts had links to Iran.

Twitter announced that it removed the accounts based on FBI intel, noting that they had low engagement and did not impact public conversation because of their prompt removal.

The platform said it would publish the accounts and their contents in full once an investigation is complete. The sample tweets showed support for Trump and questioned whether moderator Chris Wallace is nonpartisan.

The FBI confirmed it informed Twitter of the accounts in an effort to protect national security and the democratic process. A spokesman in the FBI's San Francisco field office told CNET: "Although we cannot discuss the specific information provided, the FBI regularly shares information with social media companies so they can better protect their platforms."

While Russia is the usual culprit when it comes to US election interference, Iran has been behind misinformation campaigns in the past. In June 2019, Twitter removed 4,779 accounts linked to the Middle Eastern country's government.

We know to expect foreign interference in this year's election. Earlier this month, a new report claimed the same Russian-backed hackers blamed for breaking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2016, Fancy Bear, targeted one of Joe Biden's campaign advisory firms, but its attempts failed.

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Endymio

Posts: 668   +537
The tweet "Is Chris Wallace non-partisan?" is obviously a critical threat to democracy and an attempt to derail the U.S. election. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of tweets from European sources calling the U.S. president a fascist monster are, of course, the pure expression of free speech. If you can't see the difference between these two, why, you're not squinting hard enough.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,500   +6,001
I only lasted 30 minutes into the debate .... it was such a farse and the talk of squelching mic's might sound good but I'm willing to bet that the offending party will just stroll over to the other podium and attempt to take over that mic. Maybe they should hold it on zoom, separated by a few continents? :)
 

candle_86

Posts: 551   +480
The tweet "Is Chris Wallace non-partisan?" is obviously a critical threat to democracy and an attempt to derail the U.S. election. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of tweets from European sources calling the U.S. president a fascist monster are, of course, the pure expression of free speech. If you can't see the difference between these two, why, you're not squinting hard enough.
I don't buy into it's iran either, Iranian interests are best served if Biden is elected not Trump. Biden will live the sanctions Trump won't
 
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Angga B

Posts: 96   +91
"they had very low engagement and did not make an impact on the public conversation"

Yet, they removed them anyway contradicting their very own assertion.

Misinformation? Why such concern on the misinformation only and always only in one particular direction, (almost) never in other?

Come on, man. Just save your effort, stop insulting our intelligence, and quit trying to be an editor on a platform which content you don't own nor create. Why you so insists on having your section 230 protection being removed, dear social media giants? Why suicidal?
 
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