Twitter has disclosed more than 32,000 accounts which have been part of three state backed schemes to promote disinformation and acting in an inauthentic manner. These accounts are said to be part of state sponsored operations and existed in China, Russia and Turkey.
The 1,152 Russian accounts were said to be promoting the ruling United Russia party and denigrating rivals. The Turkish accounts were engaged in similar activity related to the AK Parti.
Twitter’s opening line of their press release is particularly interesting. They state:
“Today we are disclosing 32,242 accounts to our archive of state-linked information operations — the only one of its kind in the industry.”
That Twitter should have such an archive is welcome. But it seems a shame that other platforms do not and that there is not an industry-wide archive. A similar case can (and has) been made for a multi-platform library of political adverts. Combatting improper and illegal behaviour on social media cannot be undertaken on a platform by platform basis.
RFE/RL reports apparent confirmation that Moldovan oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc has been hiding out in Moldova.
Plahotniuc was the power behind the Democratic Party and fled in June 2019 after a joint action by Russia, Europe and the USA to try to end the corruption that was endemic under his regime. It has been claimed that he stole more than $1bn, the equivalent to roughly one eighth of the Moldovan economy.
Plahotniuc apparently made his way to the USA where his request for asylum was rejected and he was ordered to be deported. That deportartion has not happened yet however and it is claimed that he has multiple passports and identities.
The Carnegie Moscow Center seems to be going all in on President Putin at the moment. Tatiana Stanovaya argues that Covid-19 and the fall in the oil price have exposed the holes in the Russian regime, whilst Alexander Baunov says that Putin has gone missing during the crisis.
Another Carnegie piece, this time looking at the electoral challenges faced by Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus.