On Feb. 23, 2021 Twitter booted a gaggle of accounts from its platform, including those determined to be associated with the Russian government and the well-known disinformation machine Internet Research Agency (IRA). Twitter regularly culls users; this isn’t rare – those who violate their terms of service, including the former U.S. president, are banned. What’s unusual is that, usually, these are one-off events involving individuals or small groups.
On Feb. 23, however, Twitter expelled 373 accounts for violating their platform manipulation policies. Within the group expelled, Twitter Safety tells us via a blog post, there were four account networks linked to state information operations which were associated with Armenia (35 accounts), Russia (69 from the GRU and 31 IRA accounts) or Iran (238 accounts).