Twitter announced the suspension of hundreds of accounts linked to Iran and Russia accused of wanting to harm NATO and the United States. Moscow has announced that it is examining these suspensions and is surprised at the repeated measures against it.
Twitter announced on February 23 that it had deleted 373 accounts that the social media giant said had ties to Russia, Armenia and Iran and did not follow its rules. “Once our investigations were completed, the 373 accounts […] were permanently suspended from Twitter for violating our platform’s manipulation policies, ”Twitter wrote in its communicated.
The company claimed that it had deleted 238 accounts operating from Iran due to “various violations of its policies” as well as 35 accounts linked to Armenia, explaining that they were created to target Azerbaijan.
Regarding Russia, it is not one, but two “separate” networks that Twitter has identified, leading it to delete 100 accounts “linked” to this country. “Our first investigation found and removed a network of 69 fake accounts that can be reliably linked to Russian state actors.”
Millions of users are at risk [de cette formule]. Even the accounts of Navalny’s comrades who certainly exert influence over the US and the EU, given the speed at which they fabricate sanctions at the behest of the agents of influence
According to Twitter, these accounts “amplified narratives aligned with the Russian government, while another subset of the network focused on undermining confidence in the NATO alliance and its stability.” As part of its “second investigation in this region”, the social network claims to have deleted “31 accounts from two networks that show signs of affiliation with the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and actors linked to the Russian government “. These accounts, according to Twitter, “amplified accounts that had previously been associated with the IRA and other Russian influence efforts targeting the United States and the European Union.”
This is not the first time that Twitter has attacked accounts it associates with Russia and its authorities. For its part, Moscow, which wants international regulations on the moderation of social networks, demands explanations from the social network giant for these new deletions.
Moscow awaits proof
In a statement, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and the Russian Mass Media, Roskomnadzor, announced that it had sent a letter to Twitter for a list of blocked accounts, and a justification. The Russian agency is also demanding “proof that these [comptes sont] linked to Russian state agencies ”.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow plans to examine the reasons for the blocking of these accounts, according to the TASS news agency: “We will take care of the reasons for the suspension and prepare an expert opinion ”, promises the diplomat.
She also called Twitter’s statement “interesting” that blocked accounts “were trying to exert influence” over the United States and the European Union.
“Millions of users are at risk of falling victim to it [de cette formule]. Even the accounts of Navalny’s comrades who certainly exert an influence on the United States and the EU, given the speed at which they fabricate sanctions at the request of the agents of influence, ”she said. ironized.
A policy of two weights, two measures
If Russia is skeptical about this announcement, it is because it is regularly the subject of offensives by Twitter. For example, in September 2020, the French review Breaks was branded on Twitter with the words “Media affiliated with a state, Russia” and despite his protests, has so far received no explanation for what he claims to be a lie and a “stigma”. This French media indeed ensures to be financed 100% by its subscribers.
This “affiliation” that Twitter has attributed to media since the summer of 2020 also concerns only a handful of countries, such as Russia or China. RT France, which is funded by the Russian state, must mention it on its Twitter account. The Twitter accounts of the BBC or France 24, two channels yet fully funded by their respective states, namely Great Britain and France, were not affublished.