Twitter to notify users who got played by Russian propaganda accounts

Pic Reuters

Pic Reuters

The social media company also revealed that they've identified more Russian-based accounts associated with the IRA than they had initially found.

Through its supplemental analysis, Twitter has also identified 13,512 additional accounts, for a total of 50,258 automated accounts that it identified as Russian-linked and tweeting election-related content during the election period.

Over 677,000 people in the U.S. liked, retweeted or followed Twitter accounts possibly tied with Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

On Friday night, Twitter began emailing U.S. users notifying them that they have followed, liked or retweeted tweets from Russian government-linked accounts.

Twitter, which shared screenshots from the tweets in a blog post, noted that about 8.4 percent of those tweets were election-related.

Appearing before the US Commerce, Science and Technology Committee this week, Carlos Monje, Twitter's Director of US Public Policy, said Twitter would "inform individually" everyone who saw tweets from accounts linked to IRA.

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The matter revolves around Russia's interference in the US's 2016 presidential election. Twitter had previously said during a hearing in October 2017 that 2,812 troll accounts were IRA-linked.

Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, Twitter said it is "taking steps to improve the security of our platform and stay one step ahead of those who would abuse it". It tracks about 600 accounts that it says are tied to Russian-sponsored influence and disinformation campaigns; most of those accounts were promoting the same meme Friday.

"At the request of congressional investigators, we are also sharing those account handles with Congress". The IRA was reportedly operating on orders from the Russian government.

Twitter also identified another 13,500 automated accounts - for a total of 50,258 - that were linked to Russian Federation and tweeting out election-related material. In a blog post, Twitter said it has suspended all of the accounts for violating the site's terms of service and has handed over the accounts to Congress.

Sen. Mark Warner, the Democratic U.S. Senator from Virginia who's harshly criticized Twitter's lackluster investigation into Russian meddling, tweeted Friday that he was "encouraged to see the company beginning to take responsibility" in dealing with the issue.

The company also highlighted the changes it had made to its internal policing efforts, saying that it now blocks about 250,000 logins that come from automated accounts a day.

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