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Exclusive - Twitter deletes over 10,000 accounts seeking to discourage voting

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Exclusive - Twitter deletes over 10,000 accounts seeking to discourage voting
A voting official hands back an early voter his ID in Valdosta, Georgia, U.S., October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant   -   Copyright  Lawrence Bryant(Reuters)
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By Christopher Bing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Twitter Inc deleted more than 10,000 automated accounts posting messages that discouraged people from voting in Tuesday’s U.S. election and wrongly appeared to be from Democrats, after the party flagged the misleading tweets to the social media company.

“We took action on relevant accounts and activity on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesman said in an email. The removals took place in late September and early October.

The number of accounts removed is modest, considering that Twitter has previously deleted millions of accounts it determined were responsible for spreading misinformation in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Yet the removals represent an early win for a fledgling effort by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, a party group that supports Democrats running for the U.S. House of Representatives.

The DCCC launched the effort this year in response to the party’s inability to respond to millions of accounts on Twitter and other social media platforms that spread negative and false information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and other party candidates in 2016, three people familiar with the operation told Reuters.

(Reporting by Chris Bing in Washington; Editing by Jim Finkle, Dan Grebler and Diane Craft)

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