Twitter removed nearly 6,000 Saudi-backed accounts for platform manipulation

Twitter Inc said on Friday it has removed 5929 accounts for being part of a state-backed information operation from Saudi Arabia.

Twitter Inc said on Friday it has removed 5929 accounts for being part of a state-backed information operation from Saudi Arabia.

According to a statement published by the company, the nearly 6000 accounts represented the “core portion of a larger network of more than 88,000 accounts engaged in spammy behaviour across a wide range of topics.”

Twitter also stated that the accounts targetted discussions relating to Saudi Arabia and aimed to advance Saudi geopolitical interests.

While a bulk of the discussion occurred in Arabic, Twitter did find that a portion related to a Western audience, especially when it came to topics such as Iran sanctions.

Twitter also named the firm behind the manipulation as Smaat, a social media marketing and management company based in Saudi Arabia.

Smaat notably manages the public presence of high profile individuals as well as Saudi government departments.

In response to the coordinating targeting, Smaat has had all access to the Twitter platform revoked.