Twitter Hands Over Russia Today Account Information To Congress

Sep 30, 2017, 15:46
Twitter Hands Over Russia Today Account Information To Congress

This matter started weeks ago when Facebook revealed that it had found Russian-linked accounts that had purchased ads on the social network during the election.

The company's Vice President for Public Policy, Colin Crowell, met with staff from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence about the issues the social media platform faced, according to a blog post from Twitter.

Twitter has shut down hundreds of accounts that were tied to the same Russian operatives who posted thousands of political ads to Facebook during the 2016 United States election.

Twitter added that it unearthed an additional 179 "related or linked accounts" with ties to the fake Russian Facebook accounts.

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The above-mentioned information was also shared in the meeting.

Facing scrutiny from Congress, Twitter today disclosed that more than 200 Russia-linked accounts had been used to spread propaganda and misinformation on the company's platform, reports TheVerge. Twitter reported RT spent $274,100 in US ads in 2016 that promoted 1,823 tweets.

"This is the tip of the iceberg", said the top Democrat at the committee, Virginia Senator Mark Warner, who has been pushing for such a hearing ever since.

"Their response was, frankly, inadequate on nearly every level", Warner said, according to Reuters.

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On Wednesday, the network reported that the Facebook and Twitter pages operating under the name "Blacktivist" were linked to the Russian government to further its efforts to stoke racial tensions in the USA during election season.

Technology companies including Twitter, Facebook and Google were asked by intelligence committees earlier this week to testify at a public hearing on November 1 about alleged Russian interference. None of the accounts were registered as advertisers. "It'll be very interesting to find out how much they spend on it, who they target and for what objective".

Of that 470, 22 had corresponding accounts on Twitter, all of which have already been suspended, Twitter wrote. Both Twitter and Facebook are reportedly co-operating with the U.S. government in its investigation. "We will continue to strengthen Twitter against attempted manipulation, including malicious automated accounts and spam, as well as other activities that violate our Terms of Service", Twitter said.

Warner told reporters that he thought Twitter's response was "inadequate", noting that the company's findings came from accounts Facebook identified.

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