Twitter announced to have deleted more than 10,000 accounts managed by bots that were posting messages to discourage people from voting in Tuesday’s U.S. Midterm election. The accounts were created to appear from Democrats, but the party reported the abuse to Twitter calling for an action and the company, in turn, deleted them in late September and early October.
“We took action on relevant accounts and activity on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesman told via email to the Reuters.
The suspension of the accounts was requested by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), a party group that supports Democrats running for the U.S. House of Representatives.
The DCCC has developed a system for identifying and reporting bot used to control social media accounts, it leverages publicly available tools such as “Hoaxley” and “Botometer” developed by University of Indiana computer researchers.
“We made Hoaxley and Botometer free for anyone to use because people deserve to know what’s a bot and what’s not,” explained Filippo Menczer, professor of informatics and computer science at the University of Indiana.
The Democratic National Committee is part of a network of professionals and a group of contractors that works to identify misinformation campaigns through social media.
The group of work includes RoBhat Labs, a firm that has developed a technology to unmask bots’ activity on social networks.
“We can’t tell you who’s behind these different operations, Twitter hides that from us, but with the technology you known when and how it’s happening,”