USA

Twitter doubles accounts told of Russian link

Twitter has doubled the list of people it has alerted about interactions with Russian-government connected accounts.

Around 1.4 million people have received notifications about interactions with accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA) – an organisation believed to be connected to the Russian government.

Twitter announced the increase in a Wednesday statement, having revealed days earlier that 677,775 people had received notifications.

The social media platform has been conducting an investigation into propaganda efforts by the IRA, which a declassified intelligence community assessment has said is likely financed by a "close Putin ally with ties to Russia intelligence".

Image:A sample Russian troll post. Pic: Twitter

Tweets sent by IRA-affiliated accounts included demands that President Trump put George Soros on the FBI most wanted list, and photographs of t-shirts expressing support for Donald Trump.

During the time period investigated – ten weeks in the run up to the 2016 election – the accounts posted 175,993 tweets, of which around 8.4% were election related, Twitter said.

People who interacted with accounts by retweeting, quoting, replying to, or mentioning the accounts have been contacted by the site, as well as those who were following accounts at the point they were suspended.

A sample Russian troll tweet. Pic: Twitter
Image:A sample Russian troll tweet. Pic: Twitter

:: Twitter finds more Russian troll accounts

"Twitter is committed to providing a platform that fosters healthy civic discourse and democratic debate," a statement from Twitter said. "We have been cooperating with congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election."

The platform has so far identified 3,814 Twitter accounts as connected to the IRA and all have been suspended for terms of service violations, most commonly for spam.

More from Twitter

Many more accounts have been identified as Russian-linked, however: Twitter said in its statement it has identified 50,258 automated accounts as Russia-linked and tweeting election related content in the run-up to the vote.

"Any such activity represents a challenge to democratic societies everywhere," Twitter said. "We're committed to continuing to work on this important issue."

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