Russian and Chinese state propaganda accounts are thriving on Twitter, according to the BBC, after Elon Musk wiped out the team that fought these networks. The unit worked to combat “information operations,” campaigns by countries such as Russia, China, and Iran aimed at influencing public opinion and disrupting democracy.
Twitter’s former employees say that the majority of these specialists resigned or were laid off, leaving the platform vulnerable to foreign manipulation. With only a skeleton crew remaining, Twitter does not have the resources to swiftly detect, attribute and take down this foreign propaganda.
Experts have long warned about the dangers of foreign influence on social media. While Twitter built a small but capable team of ‘information operations’ specialists, the lack of resources has left the platform open to coordinated campaigns.