More than 5,000 Twitter bots criticized what they called the “Russiagate hoax” following the release of the highly-anticipated report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller last week, according to a new report.
NBC News reports that a network of bots that had at one time pushed pro-Saudi Arabia messages sent out the messages following the release of Mueller’s investigation’s findings.
The bots were taken down on Sunday by Twitter, according to NBC News.
Most of the bots had a low number of posts and blasted the “Russiagate hoax” against President Donald Trump. Some of the accounts were rebranded and others were made seemingly just to boost the engagement of related tweets. One account, according to NBC News, was made to look like a news company.
NBC News noted that it wasn’t clear whether the accounts had any connections to Saudi Arabia’s government, but one expert told them it was clear the bots were meant to “influence” Americans in the wake of the Mueller report’s release.
“Whether this is a government or a pro-Saudi influence firm, it shows how easy it is to do and that there’s no cost or consequences for it,” Clint Watts, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told the news outlet. “These are made to influence Americans or western audiences.”
You can read all of the NBC News report here.