Twitter has reportedly purged more than 10,000 bot accounts for attempts at discouraging voting.
According to a new report in Reuters, Twitter removed the accounts, which were automatically posting “misleading” messages about voting, in September and October.
The accounts made it appear as if the misleading information was coming from Democrats, which it was not. The accounts were reported to Twitter by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which is one of many organizations that has partnered with Twitter on election integrity efforts.
In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson said some accounts had been removed, but declined to say how many:
“For the election this year we have established open lines of communication and direct, easy escalation paths for state election officials, DHS, and campaign organizations from both major parties,” the spokesperson said. “Our singular goal is to enforce our policies vigorously and protect conversational health on our service. We removed a series of accounts for engaging in attempts to share disinformation in an automated fashion — a violation of our policies. We stopped this quickly and at its source.”
Even so, a removal of 10,000 accounts isn’t huge by Twitter standards. The company, which has undertaken a concerted effort to crack down on bots and spam, has removed as many as 1 million accounts per day, according to reports. But it does show that Twitter is taking the spread of misinformation in the run-up to the U.S. midterm elections more seriously than it has previously.