Twitter accounts linked to Iran use Arabic for Anti-Saudi comments

In August of 2017, it was announced by Twitter that several hundred accounts had been suspended with links to Iran. The reason for the suspension was given as coordinated manipulation by those accounts.

In October 2017, Twitter decided to make the tweets from around 770 accounts available publicly. The potential origin of those accounts was given to be Iran.

Researchers working at the Oxford Internet Institute decided to analyze those accounts. They discovered a possible trend which may help in understanding how Iran wants to wield influence in the online world. The researchers had found the languages that those accounts were using for their tweets were English, French, and Arabic. In fact, only 8% of the tweets were written in Farsi, the official language of Iran.

The researchers conducted an intensive study of the tweets in Arabic. They determined that the websites that were shared more often in the Arabic language tweets had a common feature. That feature was that all those sites pushed a narrative that was similar to what the Iranian government puts out. This includes criticism of Iran’s rivals like Saudi Arabia.

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