Greater than 50,000 Russia-linked bot accounts tweeted concerning the 2016 US election in the course of the marketing campaign season, Twitter stated Friday.
The corporate disclosed this data in a put up printed late within the afternoon forward of a looming authorities shutdown.
Twitter stated it shared the knowledge with Congress, telling the legislative physique that it discovered an extra 13,512 Russia-linked bots since its final evaluation, bringing the entire quantity to 50,258.
Such an enormous variety of bots may make sure viewpoints really feel extra widespread than they really had been, or assist fringe concepts development on Twitter. Twitter is dealing with harsh congressional scrutiny over this very concern — that bot accounts and trolls used its platform to affect the general public throughout and after the 2016 election.
“Any such exercise represents a problem to democratic societies in all places, and we’re dedicated to persevering with to work on this necessary concern,” the corporate stated.
Twitter will even notify 677,775 US customers about their interactions with accounts run by a Kremlin-linked troll farm known as the Web Analysis Company. Twitter suspended the accounts, a few of which had been run by people, so it won’t inform every consumer what tweets they interacted with.
“We’ve dedicated to be as clear as doable about sharing what we now have realized by way of our retroactive investigation into exercise associated to the election,” the corporate stated.
Twitter has responded erratically to Washington’s considerations about international manipulation of its platform. Earlier this month, it missed a deadline to submit written responses to questions from Congress posed in a November listening to about Russian meddling within the election. And in October, it promised to debut an advert “Transparency Heart” throughout the coming weeks, however the middle continues to be nowhere to be discovered.
Nonetheless, Senator Mark Warner, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and certainly one of Twitter’s most strident critics, appeared inspired by the replace Friday, tweeting: “I have been robust with Twitter on this, however I am inspired to see the corporate starting to take duty and notify its customers of Russia’s affect marketing campaign on its platform.”
Alex Kantrowitz is a senior expertise reporter for BuzzFeed Information and relies in San Francisco. He reviews on social and communications.
Contact Alex Kantrowitz at [email protected]
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