Twitter said Friday it shut down thousands of accounts worldwide for spreading misinformation, including some artificially amplifying pro-Saudi messaging as part of a regional propaganda war.
The move affected pro-Saudi accounts coming from Egypt and other countries directed at Qatar and Yemen, Twitter said.
Additional fake accounts were suspended in Spain and Ecuador, Twitter’s safety team said.
The move is the latest in a series of actions by social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter cracking down on manipulation, often by state-controlled entities disguising their identities.
Royal Saudi account canceled
Twitter removed 273 accounts working in concert in “a multi-faceted information operation” to target Saudi rivals including Qatar, as well as amplify pro-Saudi government messaging.
Saudi Arabia has enforced an economic boycott of Qatar since June 2017.
Twitter also notably shut down the account of Saudi royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani.
The close confidante of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who ran Riyadh’s media center and managed an electronic army unabashedly defending its image, was implicated in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 but was never formally charged.
Six accounts linked to Saudi Arabia’s state-run media were also flagged by Twitter for being “engaged in coordinated efforts to amplify messaging that was beneficial to the Saudi government,” Twitter said.
Twitter noted the accounts had posed as “independent journalistic outlets while tweeting narratives favorable to the Saudi government”.
The post Royal Saudi account among thousands closed by Twitter in ‘fake news’ crackdown appeared first on ARYNEWS.