Twitter deletes accounts linked to foreign governments

Technology

FILE – This Wednesday, April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Twitter app on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. Twitter said Thursday, June 13, 2019, it has deleted nearly 4,800 accounts linked to the Iranian government which served to promote state actions without disclosing their political connection. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter says it has deleted nearly 4,800 suspect accounts linked to Iran that the company says secretly pushed that government’s agenda.

Twitter is adding those accounts and their tweets to a public database it launched last year to track its battle against government-linked misinformation. It is also adding a smaller number of deleted accounts linked to Russia, Venezuela and the Catalonia region of Spain.

Twitter says the removals are meant to prevent election interference while preserving valid political speech.

The company confirmed last month it had removed about 2,800 of the Iranian accounts that were using fake personas.

Twitter launched the database in October. Anyone can download the datasets, which has some information redacted. Researchers can request access to get the unredacted documents.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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