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Lawmakers slam Twitter for its Russia election interference report

'Frankly I don't think they understand how serious this problem is.'

 

Andrew Wyrich

Tech

Published Sep 29, 2017   Updated Sep 29, 2017, 12:30 pm CDT

Lawmakers slammed Twitter this week after the social media platform revealed that, just like its rival Facebook, it was used by Russian agents to try and influence the 2016 election.

On Thursday Twitter announced that it had suspended more than 200 accounts it believes were linked to the same Russian actors who purchased $100,000 worth of ads on Facebook to help create division and dissent among Americans online leading up to the election.

Twitter also announced that accounts run by RT, a Russian government-linked news outlet, bought nearly $275,000 worth of ads on Twitter during 2016. The accounts, @RT_com, @RT_America, and @ActualidadRT promoted 1,823 tweets meant to target the U.S. market and were directed at followers of mainstream media outlets.

But those are hardly the only accounts that are under scrutiny.

Earlier this week the New York Times reported that a public policy group has been tracking 600 Russia-linked accounts since last month and they have continued stirring discontent as President Donald Trump attacks NFL players who protest during the national anthem.

The same accounts have accused Hillary Clinton of funding antifa and promoted the false ideas that news of the FBI wiretapping former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s phones somehow “vindicated” Trump’s claims that the Obama administration had his “wires tapped.”

Twitter met with lawmakers on Thursday to discuss findings, and it appears that at least some high-ranking Congress members don’t think it’s done enough to curb the influence of Russian agents on their social media platforms.

“The presentation that the Twitter team made to the Senate Intel staff today was deeply disappointing,” Sen Mark Warner (D-Va.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, reportedly said.

Warner continued to voice his displeasure in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), called the meeting “important,” but also thought more information was needed from the social media company.

“Much of the information that Twitter used to identify Russian-linked accounts… was derived from Facebook’s own analysis, and it is clear that Twitter has significant forensic work to do to understand the depth and breadth of Russian activity during the campaign,” Schiff said in a statement.

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*First Published: Sep 29, 2017, 11:38 am CDT