Twitter shuts down 5,000 pro-Trump bots retweeting anti-Mueller report invective

 In Biz & IT, Policy

Twitter shuts down 5,000 pro-Trump bots retweeting anti-Mueller report invective

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The since-suspended account for the empty "news site" The Globus was at the center of a 5,000 bot Twitter army denouncing the Mueller campaign and posting pro-Trump (and pro-Saudi) messages.

Enlarge / The since-suspended account for the empty “news site” The Globus was at the center of a 5,000 bot Twitter army denouncing the Mueller campaign and posting pro-Trump (and pro-Saudi) messages. (credit: Twitter.com via Internet Archive)

Twitter has suspended over 5,000 accounts tied to a network amplifying a message denouncing the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a “RussiaGate hoax.” According to a researcher, the accounts—most of which had only posted three or four times in the past—were connected to other accounts previously used to post pro-Saudi messages.

In response to an inquiry by Ars, a Twitter spokeswoman said, “We suspended a network of accounts and others associated with it for engaging in platform manipulation—a violation of the Twitter Rules.” An investigation into the network is still ongoing, the spokeswoman said, but no determination has yet been made about who was behind the campaign.

“In cases such as this, attribution is difficult,” the spokeswoman noted. “If we do have reasonable evidence to support state-backed activity, we will disclose the accounts as part of our information operations archive.” (This archive is the data repository used to reveal operations of networks previously tied to election manipulation and other state-backed information operations.)

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Bots were tied to account formerly used for pro-Saudi messaging.

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