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Twitter Suspends Additional Accounts For 'Coordinated Manipulation'

Aug 28, 2018
Originally published on August 28, 2018 7:19 am
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Twitter announced last night that it found more bogus accounts that are linked to Iran. 284 accounts were suspended for engaging in what Twitter called a coordinated manipulation. Another 486 accounts were taken down in the past week for violating Twitter policies. Here's NPR's Jasmine Garsd.

JASMINE GARSD, BYLINE: It's a familiar tactic - fake social media accounts that take up a polarizing issue many Americans genuinely care about and publish false news and inflammatory commentary. One of the suspected accounts said that the FBI was blackmailing President Trump. Another post read, the exact moment America stopped being great, above a picture of President Trump being sworn in. Twitter says many of the accounts were found to have originated in Iran.

Since the 2016 election, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google have been under intense scrutiny over various privacy and fake news scandals. This year, executives from all three companies have even testified before Congress. Each of them promised to take steps to stop malicious activity. In July, Twitter suspended several million fake and automated accounts. And in the past week, Facebook and Twitter have each either suspended or banned accounts, many, again, linked to Iran. But some critics say it's small actions to appease the outrage.

In a recent interview with NBC News, Twitter's CEO, Jack Dorsey, promised to keep the effort going.

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JACK DORSEY: Well, I think there will always be a threat of people trying to distract and distort the conversation and especially around major events like elections. So we have to take this into consideration ongoing now.

GARSD: Dorsey is scheduled to testify before Congress on September 5 on Twitter's content and moderation policies. Jasmine Garsd, NPR News, New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF NOSAJ THING'S "LIGHT 3") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.