Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Twitter has released more than 10 million tweets linked to election interference

Twitter has released more than 10 million tweets linked to election interference

The data, comprising hundreds of gigabytes of tweets and media, are linked to thousands of accounts thought to originate from Iran and the Russian Internet Research Agency.

Our initial disclosures cover two previously disclosed campaigns, and include information from 3,841 accounts believed to be connected to the Russian Internet Research Agency, and 770 accounts believed to originate in Iran.

It comes less than one month before U.S. Congressional elections which are already the subject of foreign-directed social media campaigns, according to senior U.S. intelligence officials.

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.

According to federal investigators, the troll farm created fake Twitter accounts pretending to be US-based groups or activists, and then published tweets meant to secretly spread propaganda and misinformation to the American public.

"Twitter publishes archives of tweets and media content which, in our opinion, was the result of actions, presumably supported by the state".

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Both Twitter and Facebook face severe pressure from European and USA lawmakers over the use of internet platforms by foreign countries to attempt to influence local election results.

"We are making this data available with the goal of encouraging open research and investigation of these behaviors from researchers and academics around the world", Twitter said in a statement on its "elections integrity" site.

"The Iranian operation was clumsy".

"The Russian operation was much more skilled", he added.

Twitter said it doesn't expect such information operations to stop and expects bad actors to continue to adapt to new technologies. Twitter says the earliest activity it found on its service from these accounts dates back to 2009. Surprising researchers, these accounts had been far less active on Twitter about a major touchstone in U.S.

The social-media company said it was opening up the data to encourage independent analysis.

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