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Twitter deletes accounts linked to foreign governments

Last Updated Jun 13, 2019 at 2:52 pm EDT

FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2018, file photo, the logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Twitter reports financial results Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Twitter says it has deleted nearly 4,800 suspect accounts linked to Iran that the company says secretly pushed that government’s agenda.

Twitter is adding those accounts and their tweets to a public database it launched last year to track its battle against government-linked misinformation. It is also adding a smaller number of deleted accounts linked to Russia, Venezuela and the Catalonia region of Spain.

Twitter says the removals are meant to prevent election interference while preserving valid political speech.

The company confirmed last month it had removed about 2,800 of the Iranian accounts that were using fake personas.

Twitter launched the database in October. Anyone can download the datasets, which has some information redacted. Researchers can request access to get the unredacted documents.