Twitter takes down 926 accounts linked to the Royal Thai Army

PHOTO: Unsplash: Brett Jordan

Twitter suspended 926 accounts that are linked to the Royal Thai Army for violating the social media company’s “platform manipulation” policies. They say the accounts were “amplifying pro-government propaganda” and engaging in behaviour that targeted political opposition figures.

Altogether, Twitter permanently suspended 1,594 accounts from state-linked operations in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Thailand and Russia, the company announced yesterday. Thailand accounts made up the majority.

Twitter says the platform is a place were people can “express themselves freely.” The company’s platform manipulation policy prohibits aggressively or excessively posting or engaging in a way that misleads others or disrupts their experience on the platform.

“Our investigation uncovered a network of accounts partaking in information operations that we can reliably link to the Royal Thai Army (RTA). These accounts were engaging in amplifying pro-RTA and pro-government content, as well as engaging in behaviour targeting prominent political opposition figures.

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We are disclosing 926 accounts today and continue to enforce against small-scale activity associated with this network, as we identify it. “

The recent suspension comes during a pro-democracy movement where activists are calling on an end to Thailand’s military-run government and a rewrite of the 2017 Constitution. Some activists who have made posts on Twitter or Facebook critical of the Thai Monarchy have faced charges for violating Thailand’s Computer Crime Act.

The country’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society has even said they will press charges on Twitter and Facebook for failing to block so-called lèse majesté posts after the government warned the social media companies that the posts violate Thai law. They say the posts insult the Thai Monarchy and threaten national security and peace.

Twitter posted on their “Twitter Safety” page saying the company removed accounts from networks affiliated with Iran, Thailand, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and a previously disclosed network from Russia.

  • 104 accounts connected with a campaign in Iran were suspended for artificially amplifying conversations on politically sensitive topics including the Black Lives Matter movement, the death of George Floyd and other racial and social justice issues in the United States.
  • 33 accounts in Saudi Arabia linked to the Saudi government were suspended for impersonating key Qatari political figures and for attempting to sway political conversations.
  • 526 accounts in Cuba were permanently suspended for fake accounts run by youth organisations with ties to the Cuban government.
  • 5 accounts in Russia were suspended for potential links to the fake news agency PeaceData.

SOURCE: Twitter

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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