Twitter deleted more than 10,000 automated accounts posting messages that discouraged people from voting in Tuesday’s US election and wrongly appeared to be from Democrats after the party flagged the misleading tweets to the social media company.
“We took action on relevant accounts and activity on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesman said in an email. The removals took place in late September and early October.
Twitter removed more than 10,000 accounts, according to three sources familiar with the Democrats’ effort. The number is modest, considering that Twitter has previously deleted millions of accounts it determined were responsible for spreading misinformation in the 2016 US presidential election.
Yet the removals represent an early win for a fledgling effort by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, a party group that supports Democrats running for the US House of Representatives.
While the prevalence of misinformation campaigns have so far been modest in the run-up to the Congressional elections on Nov. 6, Democrats are hoping the flagging operation will help them react quickly if there is a flurry of such messages in the coming days.
The Tweets included ones that discouraged Democratic men from voting, saying that would drown out the voice of women, according to two of the sources familiar with the flagging operation.
The DCCC developed its own system for identifying and reporting malicious automated accounts on social media, according to the three party sources.