Twitter suspends bot network pushing pro-Saudi messages after Khashoggi disappearance

News by Teri Robinson

Twitter reportedly shuts down bot network pushing out pro-Saudi messages following death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

As the gruesome details of what might have been the last few minutes of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s life within the Saudi consulate in Istanbul emerge, Twitter had reportedly shut down a bot network pushing out pro-Saudi government tweets.

Twitter discovered the bots Thursday after NBC News gave the social media company a spreadsheet listing hundreds of accounts compiled by security researcher Josh Russell that were tweeting and retweeting the messages simultaneously, the news organization said.

The company has already begun suspending such accounts before Russell’s list surfaced, NBC cited an anonymous source at Twitter as saying.

Twitter suspended more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June – about one million accounts a day, but its efforts to purge malicious and spam accounts may have contributed to a 9.8 percent plunge in its stock Monday, as investors question whether the efforts will stymie user growth.

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