Twitter accused of violating US sanctions by selling subscriptions to terrorist groups

A technology watchdog group says Twitter is violating U.S. sanctions by selling checkmark subscriptions to known terrorist leaders, including Hezbollah leaders and Houthi groups, reports The New York Times.

"We were surprised to find that X was providing premium services to a wide range of groups the U.S. has sanctioned for terrorism and other activities that harm its national security," Katie Paul, the director of the Tech Transparency Project (TPP), told The New York Times. "It's yet another sign that X has lost control of its platform."

From TTP's report:

TTP identified more than a dozen X accounts for U.S.-sanctioned entities that had a blue checkmark, which requires the purchase of a premium subscription. Along with the checkmarks, which are intended to confer legitimacy, X promises a variety of perks for premium accounts, including the ability to post longer text and videos and greater visibility for some posts.

The accounts identified by TTP include two that apparently belong to the top leaders of Lebanon-based Hezbollah and others belonging to Iranian and Russian state-run media. The fact that X requires users to pay a monthly or annual fee for premium service suggests that X is engaging in financial transactions with these accounts, a potential violation of U.S. sanctions.

Recently, Twitter owner Elon Musk replatformed many previously suspended Twitter accounts, including conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who heaped misery on the parents of schoolchildren murdered in the Sandy Hook shooting,