With the hotly contested US midterm elections coming up this Tuesday, Twitter is cracking down on attempts at using the service to dissuade people from showing up at the polls.
Between September and October of this year, Twitter deleted more than 10,000 bot accounts that posted messages aimed at convincing people not to vote, according to a report from Reuters. Twitter has since acknowledged the deletion, and in an email to Reuters, a spokesperson for the company said, “We took action on relevant accounts and activity on Twitter.”
According to Reuters, the offending accounts were deleted after members of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) flagged a number of tweets that had been disguised to look like they had been sent out by Democrats.
Following the 2016 election, in which fake Twitter accounts were found spreading propaganda and misinformation, Twitter has stepped up its policing efforts. However, the 10,000-account deletion earlier this fall still pales in comparison to the millions of accounts that have been removed over the last two years.
With Facebook having recently banned a number of accounts that posted false reports about long lines and violence at voting stations, it’s clear social media will have to keep fighting against egregious political manipulation for the foreseeable future.