Banned Iranian Twitter Accounts Were Promoting Anti-Saudi Sentiments
Oxford Internet Institute experts announced that the reason for the banning of 770 accounts connected to Iran’s regime was that they were involved in a coordinated propaganda attack against Saudi Arabia in different languages.
Last August, Twitter announced that it has banned hundreds of accounts that seemed to be connected to Iran’s regime. Twitter explained at the time that the accounts were involved in coordinated manipulation.
In October, Twitter provided some samples of tweets by these 770 accounts.
When Oxford Internet Institute experts analyzed these tweets, they realized how Iran was able to increase its online influence. Most of these tweets were published in French, English, Arabic, and only 8 percent were in Persian.
An extensive study of the tweets in Arabic shows that “most websites that were linked in these tweets were following the Islamic Republic’s narrative in criticizing Saudi Arabia and supporting Bashar Assad, the president of Syria.”
Among the hashtags used by these accounts, anti-Saudi hashtags were the most significant.
Last October, Washington Post reported that some of these Twitter accounts were spreading the Islamic Republic’s message through secret channels.
A short time after Facebook announced the discovery of an Iranian disinformation campaign, Twitter banned hundreds of accounts connected to Iran.
According to Washington Poet, the Arabic used in these tweets was very official and formal and not the average Arabic that is used by Arabic-speaking people.