Friday, 20 October, 2017

Twitter Says It Shut Down Dozens Of Russian-Linked Bots

Twitter social media social network Russia probe Capitol Hill 2016 elections Russia Probe Twitter has been called to meet US intelligence committees
Christy Curtis | 01 October, 2017, 00:54

Twitter also shared information on Russian news outlet Russia Today, or RT, which has ties to the Kremlin, according to USA intelligence agencies.

Twitter said RT spent US$274,000 (S$372,000) a year ago on Twitter ads that may have been used to try to influence the USA election.

Facebook has been under the spotlight for its role in Russia's USA election interference for a long time, so the social network might be relieved to find it's now Twitter's turn to come under scrutiny.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has summoned Facebook, Google, and Twitter to testify at a public hearing November 1 about Russia's use of social media to influence USA elections.

The Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election was expecting more than it got from Twitter on Thursday (Sep. 28).

In a report titled "Russian Interference in 2016 US Election, Bots, & Misinformation", Twitter said it had concluded that, of the 450 or so accounts Facebook tied to a Russian propaganda campaign, 22 of them also had corresponding Twitter accounts.

There were three accounts from Russia Today promoted 1,823 tweets that were potentially aimed at the U.S. market. None of these accounts were registered to serve ads on Twitter, however.

"Twitter deeply respects the integrity of the election process, which is a cornerstone for all democracies", the company wrote. Twitter, for its part, said it supports "making political advertising more transparent to our users and the public".

Twitter also briefed the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

In addition to the more than 200 accounts it banned for violation of the company's terms of service, Twitter also revealed the extent to which Russian government-linked media outlet RT used the social network's ad platform to amplify its messages on the site.

Twitter shut down Russian-linked accounts only based upon work Facebook had already done to identify the users, according to the CNN.

Facebook said weeks back that it sold about $100,000 in political ads purchased out of Russian Federation that were aimed at influencing the USA election. Moscow denies any such activity.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, confirmed the House hearing in an interview with the AP, though he noted a date had not yet been set.

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