Twitter says it removed nearly 4,800 accounts with suspected ties to the Iranian government

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Close to 4,800 Twitter accounts that originated in Iran and are suspected of having ties to or are “directly backed by” the country’s government were deleted from the social media platform, the company said on Thursday.

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Twitter separated the accounts into three different sets, explaining that their “signals and behaviors” varied. The first group was comprised of 1,666 accounts that collectively issued nearly 2 million tweets, the company said on their website.

“They Tweeted global news content, often with an angle that benefited the diplomatic and geostrategic views of the Iranian state,” Twitter said. “Platform manipulation is a violation of the Twitter Rules.”

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The 248 accounts in the second set “were more directly engaged with discussions related to Israel specifically,” it added.

And the third set’s 2,865 accounts made use of false identities and aimed their efforts at discussions on political and social issues in both Iran and around the world, Twitter said. The company last month said it had removed these accounts.

The removed accounts and their posts are being included in the company’s public archive that tracks its efforts against government-linked misinformation. It is also adding a smaller number of deleted accounts that are tied to Russia, Venezuela and the Catalonia region of Spain.

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“By making this data open and accessible, we seek to empower researchers, journalists, governments, and members of the public to deepen their understanding of critical issues impacting the integrity of public conversation online, particularly around elections,” Twitter said. “This transparency is core to our mission.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.