US election 2020: Twitter removes 130 accounts disrupting debate

Komal FatimaWeb Editor

02nd Oct, 2020. 11:07 am
Presidential election 2020

Twitter has removed around 130 accounts linked to Iran than tried to “disrupt the public conversation” during the US presidential debate.

The social media giant said that it had become aware of the accounts, which “appeared to originate in Iran”, as a result of intelligence provided by the US authorities.

It said that it had acted early to delete the accounts and “they had very low engagement and did not make an impact on the public conversation”.

Twitter has provided only four samples of the content shared by such accounts so far.

Two of the accounts supported President Trump. One of these accounts directly referred to the QAnon conspiracy theory Donald Trump is secretly battling a “deep state” network of Satan-worshipping elites. The other account tweeted regarding Mr. Trump asking the banned Proud Boys group to “stand back and stand by”.

On the other hand, the other two accounts supported the President’s rival, Joe Biden. One questioned if Fox News debate moderator Chris Wallace was neutral. Holly Dagres, a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council, said the accounts showed Tehran was “playing both sides of the political field” and was “likely part of a larger disinformation campaign to take advantage of the current political divide”.

Earlier in August, National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina warned China, Russia and Iran were trying to influence the presidential election.

He said that Iran was trying to “undermine US democratic institutions” and “divide the country” by spreading disinformation and “anti-US content” online.

And its efforts were partially driven by a belief a second term for the president “would result in a continuation of US pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change”.

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