- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Twitter revealed new details Tuesday about influence operations on its platform backed by Armenia, Iran and Russia. 

The company said it has permanently suspended 373 accounts associated with those countries for violating platform manipulation policies. 

Following a tip from the FBI, Twitter said it removed 130 accounts that appeared Iran-originated and attempted to disrupt conversation during the first presidential debate last fall. Twitter said Tuesday that it ultimately suspended 238 Iran-linked accounts, and the company insisted that it “did not make an impact on the public conversation.”

Twitter said it completed investigations into two networks of accounts in Russia, one of which focused on undermining trust in NATO and amplifying Russian-government narratives and another that’s influence operations aimed at the U.S. and European Union.

Twitter scrubbed 69 fake accounts as a result of one investigation and 31 accounts following the other, and noted that the 31 accounts appeared to have ties to the Internet Research Agency, whose employees were previously indicted in 2018 by ex-special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating election interference. 

In Armenia, Twitter reported finding 35 accounts with ties to the Armenian government that targeted Azerbaijan. Some of the accounts impersonated Azerbaijani government and political figures or news entities.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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