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Twitter removes more than 5,000 accounts tied to Saudi Arabia

Twitter, whose logo is seen among these social media mobile app icons, has removed thousands of pro-government accounts. File Photo by Twin Design/Shutterstock
Twitter, whose logo is seen among these social media mobile app icons, has removed thousands of pro-government accounts. File Photo by Twin Design/Shutterstock

April 2 (UPI) -- Twitter said Thursday it has removed more than 5,000 pro-government accounts linked with Saudi Arabia.

The social networking site removed 5,350 accounts "associated with Saudi Arabia," Twitter Safety tweeted.

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These accounts operating out of the kingdom, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates "were amplifying content praising Saudi leadership, and critical of Qatar and Turkish activity in Yemen," it added.

Thousands of other pro-government accounts from other countries were also removed.

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Twitter had also "removed 2,541 accounts in an Egypt-based network, known as El-Fagr network," Twitter Safety tweeted in a separate post.

"The media group created inauthentic accounts to amplify messaging critical of Iran, Qatar and Turkey," the post read. "Information we gained externally indicates it was taking direction from the Egyptian government."

In Honduras, Twitter removed 3,104 fake accounts "heavily retweeting the president's account," after finding out that a staffer created it on behalf of the government.

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In Indonesia, "795 fake accounts pushing content from suspicious 'news' websites and promoting pro-government content" were removed following a report from the investigative Bellingcat website "on an information operation in Indonesia targeting the West Papuan independence movement," Twitter Safety tweeted.

In Serbia, Twitter removed 8,558 pro-government accounts after finding "clusters of accounts engaged in inauthentic coordinated activity," according to Twitter Safety.

"These behaviors are in violation of our policies and are a targeted attempt to undermine the public conversation," Twitter Safety posted.

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The list of accounts removed have been made publicly available "to improve public understanding of alleged foreign influence campaigns," the social media company said in a Transparency report.

Twitter released the information this month on all of the above accounts being removed.

The move follows Twitter announcing last month removal of 71 accounts based in Ghana and Nigeria tied with Russia and trying to "sow discord by engaging in conversations about social issues, like race and civil rights."

Back in December it also announced it was taking down 5,929 Saudi accounts it deemed state-backed.

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