The Israeli government has been acting vigorously against foreign efforts to influence the upcoming elections, closing down over 400 Twitter accounts, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
The foreign ministry has been coordinating with Twitter authorities in San Francisco to eliminate at least six different “foreign manipulation networks,” according to a senior source in the ministry.
Referring to its official liason with Twitter, the source said: “This channel facilitates the ongoing exchange of incriminating [big] data related to networks of Twitter bots, sockpuppets and impersonating accounts directly between the forensic R&D unit of the ministry and the teams responsible for system integrity at Twitter San Francisco.”
The 400 accounts were acted on during the weeks since early elections were announced in Israel.
“Twitter bots are automated accounts able to spread misinformation and fake news, and sockpuppets are false online identities used for purposes of deception,” the newspaper explained.
As a sign of the seriousness with which the company views electoral manipulators exploiting its service, Twitter has set up an “Election Team” made up of representatives from the company’s public policy, engineering, legal and safety departments to track down suspicious activity.