Twitter on Friday said it has removed thousands of “state linked” accounts used by China, Russia and Turkey to push their own propaganda, sow misinformation or attack critics.
Twitter wrote: “We’re disclosing new state-linked information operations to our public archive — the only one of its kind in the industry. Originating from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Russia, and Turkey, all associated accounts and content have been removed.”
The network was made up of 23,750 accounts that were boosted by a further 150,000 “amplifier” accounts. The Turkish network was made up of 7,340 accounts while the Russian group was 1,152.
All accounts and their content have been removed from Twitter but have been placed on an archive database for researchers.
Twitter disclosed that the Chinese network was detected with the help of systems it used to previously delete state-linked accounts last August at the height of violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
“In all instances, accounts were suspended for various violations of our platform manipulation policies.” Twitter said
In its analysis Twitter said the Turkish network was detected in early 2020 and was aimed at boosting domestic support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling party.
The Russian accounts were involved in “cross-posting and amplifying content in an inauthentic, coordinated manner for political ends” including promoting the ruling United Russia and attacking political dissidents.