Following US indictments, Twitter bans Russia-linked accounts

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San Francisco, July 15 (IANS) In response to the US’ indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers for hacking into the Democrats’ emails during the 2016 presidential campaign, Twitter has banned accounts for both Moscow-linked DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0.

They were “connected to a network of accounts” that had already been shut down for violating rules, a Twitter spokesperson told Engadget of the suspensions on Saturday.

At the same time, Twitter was aware that the shutdowns were considered overdue and the indictments just formalised the connections, the company added.

“We’re reviewing our policies in light of this and expect to make updates soon,” Twitter told The New York Times in a separate statement.

“We recognise that to promote healthy conversation we need to be responsive to ways the platform is being misused and we are committed to that here and everywhere,” the company added.

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It’s not certain what those changes might be.

However, Twitter has faced more than a handful of accusations that it only belatedly recognised the threat of electoral interference on its platform, with bot purges, candidate labels and other anti-manipulation tactics only coming after the 2016 US presidential vote.

This may be an acknowledgment that it needs to be more proactive in dealing with accounts linked to hacking and other criminal activity, especially when politics are involved.

–IANS

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