Twitter deletes over 418 ‘NRM propaganda’ accounts

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Twitter, has announced that it has shut down 418 “propaganda” accounts belonging to President Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM).

The company claimed the NRM accounts were part of the 3,465 pro-government propaganda accounts that were eliminated in six countries including Uganda, Tanzania, Venezuela, China, Russia and Mexico.

According to a statement released by Twitter on Thursday, the removed NRM-affiliated accounts were “engaged in coordinated inauthentic activity” which is against the community rules of Twitter.

Twitter said that, “We removed a network of 418 accounts engaged in coordinated inauthentic activity in support of Ugandan presidential incumbent Museveni and his party, National Resistance Movement (NRM).”

Twitter views coordinated inauthentic behavior as coordinated efforts to manipulate public debate for a strategic goal.

The microblogging site said that they believe they have a responsibility to protect the integrity of the public conversation and to offer meaningful transparency into their findings.

Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour also violates Twitter’s manipulation and spam policies.

This is however not the first time that social media accounts affiliated to the NRM are shut down.

In January 2021, Facebook deleted 426 accounts that were affiliated to NRM and President Museveni.

Of this total, 210 were pages, 62 were Facebook groups and 153 were Instagram accounts.

Facebook then said in its transparency report that they had removed Ugandan pro – Museveni accounts for “using duplicate accounts ahead of the presidential elections with an aim of manipulating debate.”

Some of the deleted Facebook accounts were attributed to the Ministry of ICT in Uganda.

Major social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have on several occasions came under fire over failure to address misinformation, manipulation and hate speech on their platforms and deleting accounts said it be spreading propaganda is one way they are addressing that.

Twitter also said that with effect from 2022, they will launch an independent “Twitter Moderation Research Consortium” that will bring together experts to study possible improvements.

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