Twitter shutdown nearly 5,000 accounts tied to the Iranian government and is archiving the tweets from the accounts in a public database.
The social media platform also took down four Russian accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA) troll farm, 130 Spanish accounts linked to the Catalan independence movement and 33 Venezuelan accounts also linked to IRA, according to a June 13 blog post.
“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,” Twitter’s Head of Site Integrity Yoel Roth said it the post.
Chris Olson, CEO of The Media Trust, said, the state-sponsored Twitter accounts are a clear sign that adversaries are executing campaigns to misinform the public in an attempt to disrupt democratic processes.
“Censorship is not the solution to this growing problem,” Olson said. “In fact, by focusing on the message instead of the mechanisms used to spread the message, we are losing sight of how we can effectively stop these campaigns. In the digital world, this means focusing on the third-party code that facilitates the spread of false or fraudulent content geared toward influencing our votes.”
Olson added that officials and the public should pay just as much attention to adversaries’ use of the digital ecosystem to undermine democratic processes.