Twitter Suspends More Than 1000 Accounts Allegedly Linked to Russian IRA Agency

Twitter Suspends More Than 1000 Accounts Allegedly Linked to Russian IRA Agency”

Twitter plans to inform almost 700,000 people they interacted with accounts linked to the Russian government, the social media giant said.

In a statement published Friday, the company said it found and suspended more automated Russia-based accounts and accounts associated with the Internet Research Agency.

The statement revealed that 677,775 people in the USA will be receiving an email from the company notifying them that they were followed, retweeted or liked, by accounts potentially connected to the Russian-linked organization referred to as the Internet Research Agency (IRA).

Twitter said that it had identified 3,814 IRA-linked accounts, which posted some 176,000 tweets in the 10 weeks preceding the election, and another 50,258 automated accounts connected to the Russian government, which tweeted more than a million times, while acknowledging that "such activity represents a challenge to democratic societies everywhere", in a news release Friday afternoon.

Going forward, Twitter says it plans to clamp down on usage of the Twitter API, which enables users to perform coordinated actions across multiple accounts in services like Tweetdeck.

Twitter has provided updated details on its investigation into Russian election interference on its platform in 2016. The platform said it found an additional 13,512 additional accounts.

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Example of some of the IRA-bot-promoted content on Twitter.

Twitter's general counsel also told the US Senate Intelligence Committee that almost 0.0001 percent of all Twitter accounts are linked to Russian Federation and have election-related content. The propaganda work was linked to an organization linked to the Russian government called "Internet Research Agency".

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

Twitter now believes that there were a total of 3,814 accounts associated with the IRA, which posted a total of 175,993 tweets. According to Twitter, these accounts represented 0.016 percent of total Twitter accounts at the time.

However, none of the accounts were real and Twitter has suspended them.

The ranking Democrat from the intelligence panel in the Senate, Senator Mark Warner from Virginia echoed the same view tweeting that he has in the past been very tough with Twitter about this, but he was encouraged from what he is seeing as the company has started to taking responsibility while notifying users of its sites of the influence by Russian Federation on its platform.

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