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Twitter details Russian-linked activity during election


This admission comes as the social media platform hands over information on their possible role in the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

Executives from Twitter met behind closed doors with congressional investigators Thursday, and revealed that the same Russian operatives who placed at least $150,000 in 2016 presidential election campaign ads on Facebook were also using 201 accounts of Twitter, according to The Washington Post.

"Of the roughly 450 accounts that Facebook recently shared as a part of their review, we concluded that 22 had corresponding accounts on Twitter", the company said in a statement.

In its blog post, Twitter said it has been working on detecting and shutting down spam bots for years, and has many systems in place to do so: "On average, our automated systems catch more than 3.2 million suspicious accounts globally per week", the company said.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter went into these hearings and voluntarily shared a roundup of three Russia Today news channel accounts that targeted the U.S. market with ads during the 2016 election.

Burr declined to say whether he had viewed the ads, but he said the committee has "traded a lot of documents with Facebook" and that the social media giant has "been incredibly helpful to us".

After becoming a target of congressional inquiries this week, Twitter released new details on Thursday concerning dozens of accounts that the company says are tied to Russian propaganda efforts during the 2016 United States presidential election.


Together, those three accounts promoted 1,823 tweets in 2016 "that definitely or potentially targeted the US market", Twitter said.

Warner called Twitter's disclosures "frankly inadequate on every level". A Senate aide confirmed that Twitter, Facebook and Google's parent company, Alphabet, have been invited to testify publicly on 1 November. Moreover, there were 179 accounts linked to those 22, which the company has already suspended.

In addition, Twitter says that post-Soviet states and Russian Federation have always been responsible for the majority of spammy and automated content on its platform.

Twitter has been criticised as being too lax in policing fake or abusive accounts.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump's tweet criticized Facebook as "anti-Trump" and suggested the company could have colluded with other media outlets that opposed him.

Warner said the platform needs to do a lot more in this regard, given that Twitter's presentation hardly answers the types of questions that the Senate committee has asked, notes the Financial Times.

Twitter has said it will continue its investigations.

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