Washington, November 3: Ahead of the high-stakes midterm polls in the United States on Tuesday, reports have confirmed that Twitter has deleted over 10,000 accounts which were spreading misinformation, particularly aimed at disenchanting Democrat supporters.
The bot accounts, whose sources are yet to be publicly revealed, were involved in demotivating Democrat voters ahead of the crucial midterm elections on November 6, 2018. The group primarily targeted was liberal males, who were being strategically asked to boycott the polls and only let the women electorate participate. U.S. Midterm Elections 2018: From 'What Are the Midterm Polls' to 'Who Are Expected to Win' — Top Questions Answered.
Three credible sources close to Reuters confirmed that the bot accounts, numbering over 10,000, were deleted in the last week of September and first week of October.
Although the numbers are modest as compared to the vast scores of account taken down by social media giants after Russia's purported role in influencing US presidential elections 2016 came to light, it would add as fodder for the Democratic Party to charge the Donald Trump-led Republicans of using misinformation for malicious gains.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had petitioned Twitter and Facebook since early this year to identify bots which were attempting to influence the electioneering process.
The DCCC had faced flak in 2016 when it failed to check the propaganda unleashed against the then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The preliminary FBI inquiry has revealed that the prime source of the misinformation was the pages and handles administered by "influencers in Russia".
The DCCc had this time tied up with RoBhat Labs, a technological firm dedicated to identify and red-flag bots on Twitter, particularly those involved in spreading "biased political views" or hate agenda.