Social media platform, Twitter has suspended 10,000 accounts globally. The accounts were said to have been suspended for sharing disinformation and causing political unrest.
The accounts suspended were from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, China and Spain. Twitter said it had identified that 4,302 of the accounts based in China were attempting to sow discord about the protest movement in Hong Kong.
Another 4,258 accounts operating from the UAE, mainly directed at Qatar and Yemen, were also removed for giving false information and addressing regional issues amongst other accounts.
Twitter said that the release of the information on why the accounts were suspended was to inform users of the platform so as to prevent them from manipulating public opinion.
According to the company, efforts are ongoing to identify further accounts in the months ahead. However, critics have wondered whether efforts are also being put into trying to prevent these accounts from coming on to the platform in the first place.
What you should know: This action by Twitter is part of its campaign against disinformation that has been on for a while. This is not the first time Twitter is suspending accounts because of disinformation as it had done so alongside Facebook and YouTube in the past.
Recall that Nairametrics reported when YouTube disabled more than 200 channels for uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. The channels were disabled in order to stop the spread of disinformation by the Chinese even though those who uploaded the videos tried to disguise their locations.
Facebook has also tried to stop disinformation on its platform as it recently started the fact-checking programme which aims to combat news in indigenous languages.
Meanwhile, Twitter’s move has caused a debate on whether it’s the responsibility of tech firms to choose what content stays on its platform and what content should be disallowed. Some people believe the social media platforms should remain largely open for users to express their freedom of speech. Notwithstanding, with accounts being kicked out, Twitter’s stance on this matter is clear.