Twitter removes 130 Iranian accounts for trying to disrupt the US Presidential Debate

Twitter says it removed the accounts following a tip from the FBI.
Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor
Image via CBS News YouTube channel

Social networking giant Twitter said today that it removed around 130 Iranian Twitter accounts for attempting to disrupt the public conversation during last night's first Presidential Debate for the US 2020 Presidential Election.

Twitter said it learned of the accounts following a tip from the US Federal Bureau of Investigations.

"We identified these accounts quickly, removed them from Twitter, and shared full details with our peers, as standard," the social network said today.

"They [the accounts] had very low engagement and did not make an impact on the public conversation," it added.

Image: Twitter

Twitter said it plans to publish details about the removed accounts and their tweets on its Transparency portal's section for influence operations.

The social network said earlier this year it was expecting to see attempts to manipulate the public discussion about the upcoming US Presidential Election as November 3 drew nearer. In August, Twitter also removed user accounts for sharing the same message about planning to vote for Donald Trump using a technique the company described as copypasta.

The company also began to label tweets as misleading if they provided inaccurate information about voting and the electoral process. Twitter used this new feature to put warning labels on several of Donald Trumps tweets throughout the summer and the early autumn.

Today's crackdown also marks the second time this month that Twitter has intervened to take down an influence operation on its website following an FBI tip. Twitter previously removed accounts tied to PeaceData, a news site that published misleading articles about world politics, which the FBI claimed was a Russian influence operation.

Facebook alternatives: Social apps you need to try

Editorial standards