'Twitter has announced that it took down about 2,000 accounts in Venezuela, most of which it claimed were “engaged in a state-backed influence campaign.” This comes amid accusations of a US-led coup attempt.
The San Francisco-based social media giant released a blog post on Thursday saying that it removed 1,196 accounts located in Venezuela which it deemed to “appear to be engaged in a state-backed influence campaign targeting domestic audiences.” It also removed another 764 accounts, however, noted: “We are unable to definitively tie the accounts located in Venezuela to information operations of a foreign government against another country.”
The Twitter purge of accounts was met with criticism and accusations of censorship.
Host of the Empire Files, a documentary & interview series, Abby Martin lamented that amid Twitter censorship of pro-government supporters, “pro-coup Venezuelans & right-wing exiles dominate the media sphere.”
While pro-coup Venezuelans & right-wing exiles dominate the media sphere, tech companies are actively censoring pro-government accounts they say are working to "influence" people https://t.co/AEfKmHhl1w
— Abby Martin (@AbbyMartin) January 31, 2019
Independent journalist Ben Norton accused social media corporations of acting as an “extension of US government interests.”
Twitter is now removing thousands of accounts supposedly linked to Venezuela's sovereign government.
This comes after Twitter suspended Venezuelan government accounts 1.5 years ago.
Social media corporations act as an extension of US government interestshttps://t.co/AVoF3vNAIa
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 31, 2019
Read more: Twitter Just Purged 2,000 Accounts for Challenging Official Narrative on Coup in Venezuela