Social media platform, Twitter, has deactivated over 4,000 accounts suspected to be spreading fake news in a bid to change people's opinion.

The platform made this known on Friday, saying that the accounts were used as pro-government propaganda channels.

The deactivated accounts were operated from places like the United Arab Emirates, China, and Spain.

Accounts coming from China seeking to sow discord among protesters in Hong Kong were closed down, as were accounts amplifying a pro-Saudi message coming from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates directed at Qatar and Yemen, Twitter said.

Fake news accounts were also suspended in Spain and Ecuador.

The information released is part of the company’s push to improve understanding of how its platform is used by state actors to manipulate public opinion.

Twitter said they had identified 4,302 accounts based in China “attempting to sow discord about the protest movement in Hong Kong”.

This follows the identification in August of more than 200,000 fake accounts in China engaged in fuelling public discord in Hong Kong.

The announcement follows Facebook’s removal of fake accounts based in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE last month for posting misinformation about regional hotspots including Libya, Sudan and Yemen.

 

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