Twitter finds hundreds of accounts linked to Russia

Twitter told congressional investigators Thursday that it pulled down 201 accounts linked to Russian entities that purchased ads on Facebook.

The revelation comes as other tech firms, including Facebook and Google, are under increasing political pressure to look more closely at how their sites were used to influence the U.S. presidential election.

“Twitter deeply respects the integrity of the election process, which is a cornerstone for all democracies,” the company said in a blog post.

Twitter also revealed that the news site  RT (Russia Today), which the company noted has links to the Russian government, spent $274,100 in U.S. ads in 2016.

Russian government officials have denied they used social media sites to meddle in the U.S. election and President Donald Trump has dismissed the allegations as part of a ‘hoax.”

But Facebook recently found 470 accounts and more than 3,000 ads that likely have ties to Russia. The company is turning over these ads to congressional investigators.

Twitter looked into the Russian-linked accounts on Facebook and found 22 corresponding accounts on Twitter. The tech firm then discovered another 179 related or linked accounts. Most of the accounts were pulled down because of Twitter’s rules against spam.

“Neither the original accounts shared by Facebook, nor the additional related accounts we identified, were registered as advertisers on Twitter,” the company said.

Twitter Vice President for Public Policy Colin Crowell met with staff from the Senate and House’s intelligence committees on Thursday to discuss its findings.

Photo: The Twitter building is photographed Dec. 14, 2015, in San Francisco. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)


Tags: Donald Trump, elections, Russians, twitter


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