Twitter says action taken against pro-Netanyahu bot network

Twitter says action taken against pro-Netanyahu bot network
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second left, shake hands next to the Rabbi of the Western Wall Shmuel Rabinovitch, left, and Bolsonaro's son Fabio, center, during a visit to a synagogue at the Western wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in the Old City of Jerusalem, Monday, April 1, 2019. (Menahem Kahana/Pool Photo via AP)

Twitter says it has "taken action" after an Israeli watchdog exposed an alleged bot network spreading propaganda in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and smearing his opponents.

Noam Rotem, one of the researchers behind the , said Tuesday he has seen Twitter shut down 258 of the over 400 automated and his team identified.

Twitter did not comment on the number of accounts removed, but said that the platform prohibits fabricated accounts and "has taken action where violations are identified" to ensure healthy dialogue online during election cycles.

With just a week until the national vote, the pro-Netanyahu bot network discovery jolted Israel's already turbulent campaign season.

Netanyahu lambasted the report as "libel," and his challenger Benny Gantz accused him of "trying to steal the election."

© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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