TWITTER yesterday said the number of Russia-linked accounts firing off tweets evidently aimed at the USA election in 2016 was more widespread than initially determined.
"Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we are emailing notifications to 677,775 people in the United States who followed one of these accounts or retweeted or liked a Tweet from these accounts during the election period".
In a blog post published Friday, Twitter said those accounts represented about 0.016% of the total subscribers on the platform at the time, but it emphasized the seriousness of the findings. Last year, when Twitter first disclosed the existence of these accounts, the company said the bots were responsible for about 1.4 million automated, election-related tweets.
The measures were taken to address concerns sparked by the 2016 presidential campaign, during which agents from Russia's infamous Internet Research Agency and other Russia-linked entities mounted a propaganda effort that boosted GOP candidate Donald Trump. It's been investigating how Russian trolls managed to create and exploit fake accounts over the service to sway public sentiment during the election.
Twitter to notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during U.S. elections
"Our work on these issues will never be done, and we will continue in our efforts to protect Twitter against bad actors and networks of malicious automation and manipulation", Twitter said.
Twitter also said its second assessment found another 13,512 Russian-linked automated accounts, for a total of 50,258, that tweeted election-related content during the 10 weeks before the 2016 election.
Twitter turned up a total of 50,258 automated accounts that have been linked to Russian Federation and tweeted election-related content, including 13,512 accounts identified since the hearings.
Working with congressional investigators, Twitter is also sharing the account handles found with Congress. Accounts and bots on Twitter and Facebook engaged in a systematic routine of promoting misinformation and propaganda-style messages - ostensibly to praise Trump and denigrate is then-Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.More news: Dolores O'Riordan's death inquest has been 'adjourned until April'