Twitter removes dozens of accounts associated with Russian government

After an arduous investigation into the operators of some profiles, Twitter decided to delete dozens of accounts allegedly linked to the Russian government dedicated to the dissemination of misinformation about the United States, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The social media platform mentions that these accounts were part of two separate networks of the Russian government.

“Our research led to the detection and elimination of a network of at least 69 fake accounts fully identified as part of a disinformation platform operated by actors linked to the Russian government,” the company’s communiqué states. According to Twitter, many of these accounts were exclusively dedicated to spreading a pro-Russian narrative and its political stances, while other accounts were used to launch criticism of NATO and the European Union.

In a second stage of research, Twitter deleted 31 other accounts belonging to two networks affiliated with the Internet Research Agency and various Russian-based state actors: “These accounts spread a hate message issued by IRA partners and other intelligence efforts from Russia targeting the United States and the European Union,” the report adds.  

The social network eliminated a total of 265 accounts, which made up four networks operated from Russia, Armenia and Iran, in addition to suspending 373 accounts potentially associated with these four networks for breaching various provisions in Twitter’s usage policies: “Since a first file was launched in October 2018, we have disclosed data related to more than 85,000 accounts associated with platform manipulation campaigns originating in 20 countries , to our information operations file,” the company added.

Fears of Russian intervention in public affairs in the United States and the European Union grew unusually after the Russian government’s intrusion into the U.S. election process was demonstrated in 2016, resulting in Donald Trump’s arrival in the country’s presidency. This intrusion was made possible by ambitious disinformation campaigns deployed in conjunction with analysis firm Cambridge Analytica.

This is not the first time that the social network should take a similar action. In June last year, Twitter permanently deleted nearly 33,000 accounts allegedly linked to three separate disinformation operations attributed to Russia, the People’s Republic of China and Turkey. To learn more about information security risks, malware, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) website.