Mid-term misinformation is abundant these days on social media, thanks to the increasing number of trolls and bots. More than 10,000 automated accounts posing as Democrats were removed from Twitter for spreading fake news and discouraging users from voting in the Nov. 6 mid-term election, Reuters reported on Friday.
For example, one tweets discouraged men from voting, saying their vote would reduce the voice of women voters.
The social network had no strategy to detect and remove fake accounts on its own, and only took measures against them when they were reported by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The accounts were deleted in September and October, and Twitter said they may have been run from the US.
“We removed a series of accounts for engaging in attempts to share disinformation in an automated fashion – a violation of our policies. We stopped this quickly and at its source,” a Twitter spokesperson told CNN Business. “For the election this year we have established open lines of communication and direct, easy escalation paths for state election officials, DHS, and campaign organizations from both major parties.”
The DCCC hasn’t released a comment.
Fake news and one-sided information meant to confuse citizens on social media are very common, as are foreign actors looking to destabilize the political landscape through manipulation. Although Twitter has taken down accounts, and Facebook has invested in artificial intelligence and hired new staff to bring down propaganda content, the number of troll accounts is growing by the day, making it almost impossible to remove them all.