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Twitter purges more than 32,000 fake accounts with ties to China, Russia, Turkey

Lucas Manfredi

Twitter has permanently suspended more than 32,000 fake accounts with ties to China, Russia and Turkey for "various violations" of the social media platform's manipulation policies.

"Today we are disclosing 32,242 accounts to our archive of state-linked information operations — the only one of its kind in the industry," the company said in a blog post Thursday. "The account sets we're publishing to the archive today include three distinct operations that we have attributed to the People's Republic of China (PRC), Russia, and Turkey respectively."

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Twitter found more than 23,000 accounts linked to the People's Republic of China (PRC) were "spreading geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China (CCP), while continuing to push deceptive narratives about the political dynamics in Hong Kong." The company also found 150,000 "amplifier accounts" that were used to spread the PRC's message.

The company also found more than 1,100 accounts tied to the Russian media website Current Policy, which is known for engaging in "state-backed political propaganda." The accounts were suspended for "cross-posting and amplifying content in an inauthentic, coordinated manner for political ends," including promoting the United Russia party and attacking those who oppose it.

In addition, the platform found a collection of more than 7,300 fake and compromised accounts that were used to "amplify political narratives" favorable to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Parti.

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Going forward, the company said it will offer more clarity in the public archive around impression counts and will create academic partnerships to ensure a "globally diverse and advancing public understanding of these issues."

Twitter will also host an online conference later this summer with industry experts and government officials to discuss further collaborative opportunities.

"Ultimately, our goal is to serve the public conversation, remove bad faith actors, and to advance public understanding of these critical topics," the company said.

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