Twitter to notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during United States elections

Violet Powell
January 21, 2018

The social media company is "working to identify and inform individually" its users who saw tweets during the 2016 U.S. presidential election produced by accounts tied to the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Army, Carlos Monje, Twitter's director of public policy, told the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

The accounts include @TEN_GOP, a Republicans group in Tennessee that pushed pro-Donald Trump tweets, @Pamela_Moore13, a conservative personality, and @crystal1johnson, a black woman who was critical of U.S. police. The total number of accounts involved with the IRA has jumped from 2,812 to 3,814.

Twitter said that only 8% of tweets made by these accounts were election related, which is actually how IRA was highly successful in making many believe these were real Americans.

"Such activity represents a challenge to democratic societies everywhere, and we're committed to continuing to work on this important issue", it said.

Twitter plans to inform almost 700,000 people they interacted with accounts linked to the Russian government, the social media giant said. However, it has notified Congress of its findings and will continue to search for other activity that might have been overlooked.

Twitter also addressed the issue on Friday, announcing that it would notify nearly 670,000 users in the USA who followed, retweeted, or "liked" posts from suspect accounts during the election period.

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Graham said he is willing to continue speaking with the president about a potential deal, noting Trump has his phone number. They must defend 10 Senate seats in states won by Trump two years ago, in many cases by wide margins over Clinton.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg said in an online post that the social network would seek to "prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local".

The company added that the relevant content, however, is no longer available because the account were already suspended.

In a bid to remedy the damage, the company said it intends to notify some 670,000 users who engaged with any content posted by the accounts in question.

Many moons ago - well, October 2017 - representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified before Congress about foreign nations potentially using their platforms to influence the 2016 election.

Twitter executives on Wednesday told USA lawmakers that it may notify the users about the Russian propaganda.

Twitter said it also found 13,512 new Kremlin-linked bot accounts, bringing the total number of bots it has found in connection to Russia's election influence efforts to 50,258. It has also suspended the accounts behind the tweets. The service now blocks about 523,000 suspicious logins everyday.

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