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Twitter reveals 1.4 million users engaged with Russian propaganda
Ivelin Radkov/Shutterstock (Licensed)
The social network is still investigating.
On Wednesday, Twitter said in a blog post that it notified 1.4 million users who potentially engaged with content posted by a Russian government-backed organization called the Internet Research Agency (IRA). That’s more than double the amount it identified two weeks ago.
The social network previously revealed that it identified and suspended 3,814 IRA-linked accounts that posted 175,993 tweets, of which 8.4 percent were related to the election. It discovered a total of 50,258 automated accounts linked to the Russian troll farm during the election period, .016 percent of its total user base. It did not update these numbers in its latest blog post.
Fulfilling its promise to members of Congress, Twitter will send notifications to all users who actively engaged with Russian propaganda. It puts these users into three categories: those who directly engaged with Russian-linked tweets by retweeting, quoting, replying, mentioning or liking; people who followed IRA-linked accounts; and people who didn’t receive an initial notice from Twitter. This does not include every user who saw the content, only those who actively engaged with it.
“Our notice efforts are focused on certain types of interactions, and they will not encompass every person that ever saw this content,” Twitter conceded.
The social network has not offered specifics on how many total users viewed the posts, unlike Facebook, which admits 140 million people may have seen Russian propaganda on their News Feeds. There’s a good chance we’ll continue to see significant increases in the number of users exposed to Kremlin propaganda as Twitter continues its investigation.
“As our review continues, we may also email additional users. If and when we do so, we will do our best to keep the public updated,” the company pledged.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.