Company

Disclosing state-linked information operations we've removed

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Thursday, 2 December 2021

Twitter first published a comprehensive, public archive of data related to state-backed information operations three years ago. We’ve made improvements, outlined our principles, and iterated on our approach over time. Since that first disclosure in October 2018, we’ve shared 37 datasets of attributed platform manipulation campaigns originating from 17 countries, spanning more than 200 million Tweets and nine terabytes of media. 

Today, we’re disclosing an additional 3,465 accounts to our archive of state-linked information operations — the only one of its kind in the industry. The account sets include eight distinct operations we’ve attributed to six countries – Mexico, the People's Republic of China (PRC), Russia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Venezuela, respectively. Every account and piece of content associated with these operations has been permanently removed from the service. 

In addition, we have shared relevant data from this disclosure with three leading research partners: the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Cazadores de Fake News, and the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO). In most instances, accounts were suspended for various violations of our platform manipulation and spam policies. See more via our Transparency Center.

Below, we’ve outlined information about our latest disclosure. In the future, we’ll share key insights with the public, and more comprehensive data will be shared with our global consortium.

Mexico

  • We removed a network of 276 inauthentic accounts that shared primarily civic content, in support of government initiatives related to public health and political parties.

People’s Republic of China

  • We removed a network of accounts that amplified Chinese Communist Party narratives related to the treatment of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang. Today, we’re releasing a representative sample of 2,048 accounts.
  • We also removed a network of 112 accounts connected to “Changyu Culture,” a private company backed by the Xinjiang regional government.

Russia

  • We removed a network of 16 accounts linked to the IRA that attempted an information operation in the Central African Republic.
  • The operation relied on a mix of inauthentic and real accounts to introduce a pro-Russia viewpoint into Central African political discourse.
  • We also removed a network of 50 accounts that attacked the civilian Libyan government and actors that support it, while voicing significant support for Russia’s geopolitical position in Libya and Syria.

Tanzania

  • We removed a network of 268 accounts utilized to file bad faith reports on Twitter, targeting members and supporters of FichuaTanzania and its founder.
  • A subset of accounts also Tweeted pro-government content primarily associated with #chaguamagufuli2020. 

Uganda

  • We removed a network of 418 accounts engaged in coordinated inauthentic activity in support of Ugandan presidential incumbent Museveni and his party, National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Venezuela

  • We removed a network of 277 Venezuelan accounts that amplified accounts, hashtags, and topics in support of the government and its official narratives.
  • Many of the individuals behind this abuse had authorized an app, “Twitter Patria,” to access their accounts and timelines.
  • We suspended the “Twitter Patria” app, a set of account holders leveraging and managing it, and a series of similar apps.

We believe we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of the public conversation and to offer meaningful transparency into our findings. Disclosing these datasets remains core to that mission. We continue to assess our principles and approach to these critical disclosures, and have learned a number of lessons along the way. As we look ahead, learn more about our future disclosures here, and keep up with the latest at @TwitterSafety

 

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