Twitter says Russia-linked accounts more widespread than thought

Jan 21, 2018, 01:20
Twitter says Russia-linked accounts more widespread than thought

In Friday's public update, the company said it found 1,062 additional accounts associated with the Russian government-linked Internet Research Agency (IRA).

Twitter has also revised up the total number of Russia-linked accounts it uncovered since its testimony to Congress in the fall. "Any such activity represents a challenge to democratic societies everywhere, and we're committed to continuing to work on this important issue", the company said in a statement.

While Russian officials have denied meddling in the 2016 presidential election, social media companies have discovered Russian-linked accounts that posted divisive content during the 2016 election season.

As part of its recent update, Twitter said it is emailing 677,775 accounts held by USA individuals who positively interacted with the suspected accounts - that is, people who either liked content from them, retweeted content from them, or followed the accounts.

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Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the network would seek to "prioritise news that is trustworthy, informative, and local". "Because we have already suspended these accounts, the relevant content on Twitter is no longer publicly available".

These accounts sent more than 175,000 tweets, the company said.

Twitter also said it is complying fully with Congress' investigation into whether President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in a bid to sway the 2016 USA election.

An example of IRA content.

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Twitter said it shared the information with Congress, telling the legislative body that it found an additional 13,512 Russia-linked bots since its last analysis, bringing the total number to 50,258.

Monje said Twitter had improved its ability to detect and remove "maliciously automated" accounts, and now challenged up to 4 million per week - up from 2 million per week previous year.

Twitter said it now detects and blocks approximately 523,000 suspicious logins daily for being generated through automation.

The ranking Democrat from the intelligence panel in the Senate, Senator Mark Warner from Virginia echoed the same view tweeting that he has in the past been very tough with Twitter about this, but he was encouraged from what he is seeing as the company has started to taking responsibility while notifying users of its sites of the influence by Russian Federation on its platform.

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