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Twitter bans Russia-linked accounts following indictments

It's also reviewing its policies on these accounts in the process.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 14, 2018
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Reuters/Dado Ruvic

The US' indictment of Russian officers over the DNC hacks is having an effect... at least, on Twitter. The social network has banned accounts for both DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 in response to the indictment. In a statement explaining the suspensions, the company told Engadget that they were "connected to a network of accounts" that had already been shut down for violating rules. At the same time, Twitter was aware that the shutdowns were considered overdue -- DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 have long been linked to Russia, and the indictments just formalized the connections.

"We're reviewing our policies in light of this and expect to make updates soon," Twitter said in an additional statement to the New York Times' Jim Rutenberg. "We recognize that to promote healthy conversation we need to be responsive to ways the platform is being misused and we are committed to that here and everywhere."

It's not certain what those changes might be. However, Twitter has faced more than a handful of accusations that it only belatedly recognized the threat of electoral interference on its platform, with bot purges, candidate labels and other anti-manipulation tactics only coming after the 2016 US presidential vote. This may be an acknowledgment that it needs to be more proactive in dealing with accounts linked to hacking and other criminal activity, especially when politics are involved.

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