SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Twitter (TWTR.N) on Thursday said it removed more than 170,000 accounts tied to a Beijing-backed influence operation that deceptively spread messages favorable to the Chinese government, including about the coronavirus.
FILE PHOTO: The Twitter App loads on an iPhone in this illustration photograph taken in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The company suspended a core network of 23,750 highly active accounts, as well as a larger network of about 150,000 “amplifier” accounts used to boost the core accounts’ content.
Twitter, along with researchers who analyzed the accounts, said the network was largely an echo chamber of fake accounts without much further traction.
The company also removed two smaller state-backed operations which it attributed to Russia and Turkey, both focused on domestic audiences.
Twitter said the Chinese network had links to an earlier state-backed operation dismantled last year by Twitter,…
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