Tags: Media Bias | jamal khashoggi | twitter | saudi arabia | bots | social media

NBC: Twitter Removes Bots Promoting Saudi Arabia Innocence in Khashoggi Case

a protester holds a poster of murdered journalist jamal khashoggi
(Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 18 October 2018 09:08 PM

Twitter took down a network of bots Thursday that were spreading tweets aimed at distancing the Saudi Arabian government from the presumed murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

NBC News alerted the social media network Thursday about the bot accounts, of which there were hundreds. They were taken down for violating rules around spam, a Twitter employee told NBC.

The bots, some of which were created in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2017, were found to be tweeting the same content at the exact same time. They were also using hashtags in Arabic that translated to "#We_all_trust_Mohammad_Bin_Salman," referring to the the Saudi crown prince," "#unfollow_enemies_of_the_nation," and others.

IT professional Josh Russell put together the list of bot accounts and provided it to NBC.

One tweet read, "From the very beginning, false statements have tried to link the disappearance or killing of #Jamal_Khashoggi to the kingdom. This is a campaign they are waging against the kingdom."

Khashoggi disappeared after walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct. 2. According to news reports out of the region, it is believed he was tortured and killed by a Saudi hit team in the consulate before his body was dismembered.

The Saudi Arabian government has denied being involved in the disappearance, which has turned into an international incident.

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Hundreds of bot accounts that were sharing hashtags proclaiming Saudi Arabia's innocence in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi were taken down Thursday by Twitter, according to NBC News.
jamal khashoggi, twitter, saudi arabia, bots, social media
Thursday, 18 October 2018 09:08 PM
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