Thank you for reading the news about Twitter suspends over 6,000 Saudi-linked accounts and now with the details
Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The social networking giant reported that the accounts amplified "messages favourable to Saudi authorities", targeting discussions related to Saudi Arabia and those which furthered its geopolitical interests
Through "inauthentic engagement tactics" such as aggressively favouriting tweets, retweeting and replying, the hostile activity amounted to a major violation of the site's "platform manipulation policies," Twitter wrote in a public blog post.
As of Friday, Twitter has not disclosed all of them, for fear some may be compromised accounts.
This is not the first time Twitter has ordered the closure of thousands of Saudi-linked accounts.
The most recent major shut down happened in September this year, when the site announced it suspended the account of former Saudi royal court advisor Saud al-Qahtani, who had amassed more 1.3 million followers, along with the accounts of six other high-ranking Saudi officials.
Qahtani, a close aid of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was fired from his post in October last year after Turkish and US authorities exposed his role in orchestrating the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In 2017, he had called on Saudi Twitter users to compile an intelligence blacklist of anyone showing sympathy for regional rival Qatar, using the Arabic hashtag #TheBlacklist and promised to "follow" every account named.
Read more: Twitter takes down account of Saud Al-Qahtani, MbS’ former right-hand man, linked to Khashoggi murder
Twitter also suspended thousands of accounts managed by DotDev, a private technology firm that operates in the UAE and Egypt, in September.
The suspended accounts were believed to be involved in a broad information operation using state propaganda to target Qatar, Yemen and other states.
Read more: Twitter suspends thousands of Emirati accounts for anti-Qatar, Yemen trolling
A month earlier, Facebook announced it had dismantled a network of fake user profiles and pages linked to the Saudi government, which circulated state propaganda and poured scorn on the kingdom's adversaries and detractors.
Over 350 accounts and pages, which had accumulated over 1.4 million followers, would post in Arabic and discuss "Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – his internal and economic social reform plan, the successes of the Saudi armed forces, particularly during the conflict in Yemen", according to Facebook's head of cybersecurity, Nathaniel Gleicher.
The takedown forms part of Facebook's ongoing efforts to combat "coordinated inauthentic behaviour" on the platform.
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