Twitter finds more Russia-backed accounts, to notify 7 lakh users


Twitter will also notify 677,775 US users about their interactions with accounts run by a Kremlin-linked troll farm called the Internet Research Agency.

Twitter Inc, which is reviewing Russian interference during the 2016 United States elections, said on Friday it would notify some of its users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service.

The company on Friday also disclosed thousands of accounts that it said were associated with the Kremlin-linked troll farm, the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and the Russian government, adding to numbers that it released to Congress in October.

Twitter has said that because it already has suspended the accounts, the content that is relevant is not publicly available any longer on the platform. Today, Twitter revealed some of its findings.

Twitter provided examples of IRA content that circulated on the platform. 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. A group that tracks Russian-linked social media influence campaigns says the volume of Russian-related #ReleaseTheMemo traffic represents the most coordinated such effort since their website launched in early August.

Twitter also said that it has improved its system to identify, detect, and block "bad actors" from infiltrating its platforms, and has significantly ramped up its ability to root out suspicious accounts in recent months.

Twitter said it is sharing information about the accounts with Congress, where testimony late previous year by Twitter, Facebook and Google revealed startling new data showing many more millions of Americans were exposed to the fake news than previously thought. But the lion's share of the new accounts in the current figures appear to be bots amplifying the posts of a relatively small handful of trolls, some 3,814 accounts run directly by the IRA. Those accounts represented about 0.016 percents of the total accounts on Twitter during that period.

The accounts include @TEN_GOP, a Republicans group in Tennessee that pushed pro-Donald Trump tweets, @Pamela_Moore13, a conservative personality, and @crystal1johnson, a black woman who was critical of U.S. police.

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.