Twitter to notify 677775 Americans who interacted with Russian-linked accounts


The company has also banned Russian state media accounts from buying ads and is creating a "transparency centre" to show how much political campaigns spend on advertising, the identity of the organization funding the campaign, and what demographics the ads targeted.

The disclosures are the latest sign of how widely the effort to disrupt the 2016 election through disinformation permeated the services of social media companies, including Twitter, Facebook and Google.

"We are emailing notifications to 677,775 people in the USA who followed one of these accounts or retweeted or liked a Tweet from these accounts during the election period", Twitter said, adding that it has already suspended these accounts. Even the Twitter CEO fell for one such account - a phony Black Lives Matter account - by retweeting two of its tweets.

Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations are pushing a conservative meme related to the investigation of Russian election interference, researchers say. Twitter had previously said during a hearing in October 2017 that 2,812 troll accounts were IRA-linked.

Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes, did not respond directly to a request for comment on the Russian-linked internet activity surrounding the memo.

The #releasethememo Twitter cloudburst also appears to be a microcosm of what USA intelligence officials say are Kremlin efforts to fan political divisions in the United States after having meddled in the 2016 presidential election, according to a declassified January 2017 US intelligence assessment.

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"We have identified an additional 1,062 accounts associated with the IRA", the release said on Friday. Twitter says it's now uncovered more accounts and new information on the wide-reaching Russian cyberintelligence campaign.

Example of some of the IRA-bot-promoted content on Twitter. That brings the total number of such accounts to 50,258, according to Twitter.

The 175,993 tweets from those accounts were spread far and wide by the network of automated tweeters supporting them. Twitter has said anyone who followed or interacted with such an account believing that it was an American but was unwittingly connected to a Russian propaganda farm will be receiving an email.

The social media platform said 677,775 USA users followed, retweeted or liked a tweet from accounts associated with the IRA during the election period.

Specifically, the company is working on verifying all candidates, escalating issues of impersonation or hijacking, and monitoring election-related conversations closely for evidence of manipulation or bot participation.