Twitter says it has deleted nearly 4,800 suspect accounts linked to Iran that the company says secretly pushed that government’s agenda.
Twitter is adding those accounts and their tweets to a public database it launched last year to track its battle against government-linked misinformation. It is also adding a smaller number of deleted accounts linked to Russia, Venezuela and the Catalonia region of Spain.
"We believe that people and organizations with the advantages of institutional power and which consciously abuse our service are not advancing healthy discourse but are actively working to undermine it. By making this data open and accessible, we seek to empower researchers, journalists, governments, and members of the public to deepen their understanding of critical issues impacting the integrity of public conversation online, particularly around elections. This transparency is core to our mission," Twitter said.
Twitter says the removals are meant to prevent election interference while preserving valid political speech.
Twitter also removed 4 accounts connected with the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA); 130 accounts fake accounts originating in Spain associated with the Catalan independence movement, specifically Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya; and 33 accounts originating within Venezuela that were engaging in platform manipulation targeted outside of the country.