Twitter Publishes Tweet Trove From Russia, Iran Election Meddling Campaigns

Twitter provided details on more than nine million tweets from 3,841 Russian accounts exposing efforts to meddle in British and US politics

Twitter provided details on more than nine million tweets from 3,841 Russian accounts exposing efforts to meddle in British and US politicsReuters

The social media company said in a blog post Wednesday morning that the data comes from 3,841 accounts affiliated with the Russian-backed Internet Research Agency and 770 other accounts potentially originating in Iran.

The datasets, which also include more than 2 million images, GIFs, videos and Periscope broadcasts, comprise 3,841 accounts affiliated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), originating in Russian Federation, and 770 other accounts, potentially with origins in Iran.

The data disclosed onWednesday also shows that the operatives directing the Russian bot accounts used US-based businesses that allow users to relay content onto Twitter, such as IFTTT, RoundTeam and dlvr.it, in addition to Twitter products like TweetDeck, and the Twitter mobile apps for iPhone and Android.

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Twitter has taken increasing steps to generate public goodwill over its perceived connection to Russian attempts to sway the 2016 election and its role in the spread of fake news.

Twitter's data sets contain a.CSV file with information describing the Tweets as well as larger files that contain media, Tweets and images.

Twitter said it had committed to the United States Congress and the public that it will investigate foreign interference into political conversations on social media, and provide regular updates about the same.

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Russian and Iranian internet trolls sent more than 10 million Tweets in an effort to spread disinformation and discord in the West, including a day-long blitz on the day of the Brexit vote.

"Particularly in the Russian dataset a lot more of the content was in Russian than in English", said Nimmo. Twitter says the earliest activity it found on its service from these accounts dates back to 2009.

The Iranian campaign, they said, appeared to have been more focused on spreading its own government's messages via links to sympathetic websites. "It tried to use social media to draw people towards pro-regime messaging sites", said Nimmo. In January, the company notified about 1.4 million users that they had interacted with Russia-linked accounts during the election or had followed those accounts at the time they were suspended.

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