Twitter bans Saudi-linked accounts impersonating Qatari figures

©Al-Araby Al-Jadeed

Twitter

said on Thursday it had

removed

33 accounts linked to the Saudi government that impersonated key political figures from

rival

Qatar.

"These accounts were created to impersonate key

Qatari

political figures and to advance narratives about Qatari politics which are geostrategically favorable to the

Saudi

authorities," the micro-blogging site said in a statement.

The accounts were deleted as part of a wide-ranging campaign to tackle state-linked disinformation on Twitter.

The latest sweep also saw the

removal

of more than 100 accounts linked to Iran.

"We identified a network of primarily compromised accounts on Twitter operating from Iran, which artificially amplified conversations on politically sensitive topics, including Black Lives Matter (BLM), the murder of George Floyd, and other issues of racial and social justice in the United States," the social media giant said.

Last week, Twitter deleted nearly 130 accounts it said were linked to the Islamic Republic and had attempted to "disrupt the public conversation" during the US presidential debate.

In April, the micro-blogging site said it had

removed

more than 5,000

Saudi

accounts and around 2,500 Egyptian accounts it said were involved in pushing pro-government stances and "amplifying messaging critical of Iran, Qatar and Turkey".

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain have imposed a political and economic blockade on Qatar for the past three years.

The Gulf states and their allies abruptly severed ties with Doha in June 2017, banning Qatari planes from their airspace, closing the Gulf state's only land border with Saudi Arabia, and expelling Qatari citizens.

The alliance accuses Qatar of backing Islamist extremists and Iran, allegations that Doha has strongly denied.

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