Ahead of US vote, Twitter says accounts removed over 'disinformation' - International

Ahead of US vote, Twitter says accounts removed over 'disinformation' - International

Twitter Inc. (TWTR.N) deleted automated accounts that were discouraging people from voting in next week's US midterm elections, amid the social network's heightened efforts to deal with misinformation and manipulation.

While 10,000 is a tiny number compared to other account suspension efforts from the social network this year-Twitter purged more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June alone-the latest removal showed just how daunting the challenge of scrubbing disinformation from the sprawling and often anonymous social network is.

Twitter indicates that the accounts were trying to persuade voters to stay home on election day, which would suppress the vote for the pivotal midterm elections on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, the offending accounts were deleted after members of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) flagged a number of tweets that had been disguised to look like they had been sent out by Democrats.

Reuters even characterized it is an "early win" for the partisan group. Twitter said Thursday that since October 1, people have sent more than 10 million tweets about voting and early voting.

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The social media website accounts were being operated from the United States.

Last month the state of California signed legislation that bans the use of undeclared bots during elections.

"The number of accounts [recently] removed is modest - considering that Twitter has previously deleted millions of accounts it determined were responsible for spreading misinformation in the 2016 US presidential election", CNBC.com noted. "We stopped this quickly and at its source", a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement provided to CNN Business.

The system was built in part from publicly available tools known as "Hoaxley" and "Botometer" developed by University of in computer researchers. It is working with contractors to identify campaigns with false information.

One of these partners includes RoBhat Labs who develops technology that can identify bots and what the political-bias is in the message. "We remove this when we see it", Twitter said earlier this week.

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