Twitter De-Bots Campaign Discourse

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -

Twitter says it has “taken action” after an Israeli watchdog exposed an alleged bot network spreading propaganda in support of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and smearing his opponents.

Noam Rotem, one of the researchers behind the report, said Tuesday he has seen Twitter shut down 258 of the over 400 automated and fake accounts his team identified.

Twitter did not comment on the number of accounts removed, but said that the platform prohibits fabricated accounts and “has taken action where violations are identified” to ensure healthy dialogue online during election cycles.

With just a week until the national vote, the pro-Netanyahu bot network discovery jolted Israel’s already turbulent campaign season.

Netanyahu disavowed any tie to the bot network and lambasted the report as “libel,” while his challenger Benny Gantz accused him of “trying to steal the election.”