Twitter said it had “flagged or removed” more than 50,000 pieces of content that violated its policy on manipulated media in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the company said in a blog entry today. In addition, the platform removed around 75,000 accounts for “inauthentic behavior” and spam. Although this number included users not specifically involved in war propaganda, it included accounts related to #IStandWithPutin, a hashtag that went viral last month thanks to a coordinated campaign by fake accounts.
Unlike previous times when a single government or state information campaign was to blame, Twitter found that a variety of actors were responsible for manipulating the platform, e.g. B. those who disseminated old conflict material as new, as well as the many Fundraising scam related to Ukraine that appeared after the invasion.
Last month, Twitter also vowed not to amplify tweets from users that contained links to pro-government media (an improvement on its old policy of not amplifying or promoting tweets that were only direct from accounts of the state-affiliated media). Since February 28, Twitter says it has flagged more than 61,000 unique tweets that contained links to state media. It is estimated that this reduced the reach of these tweets by around 30 percent.
Twitter has allowed Kremlin-backed media outlets like RT and Sputnik (as well as other state-run media outlets) to continue operating their verified accounts, but appropriately labeled and downgraded what the media tweeted. Both propaganda channels are also prohibited from advertising on Twitter.
Misinformation about the invasion of Ukraine has thrived on social media, particularly in the form of misleading photos and videos. The government of Russia has access blocked to most Western-run civilian platforms (including Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok), mainly as a possibility suppress contradiction among his own people. But the Kremlin’s own disinformation campaigns on these platforms appear to be continuing. One theory supported by Russia was that the US is helping Ukraine build bioweapons further strengthened by Chinese state media as well as right-wing extremists and right figures in the United States.
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