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Russian bots helped fueled the fight against Obamacare on Twitter
A group of almost 10,000 tweets connected to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Russian “troll farm” that authorities say spread disinformation during the 2016 presidential election, also tried to sow discord over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the past several years, according to a new report.
The IRA-linked accounts sent out around 10,000 tweets from nearly 600 accounts from 2014 until May of this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Researchers at Clemson University gave the tweet samples to the news outlet, which found that 80 percent of the tweets had “conservative-leaning political messages” which routinely attacked the ACA, also known as “Obamacare.”
The news outlet reports that the accounts sent out a large number of tweets last summer, when Republicans in Congress failed to repeal the ACA, despite numerous attempts to do so.
The accounts were shut down by Twitter, according to the Journal.
The IRA was at the center of Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s February indictment, which accused 13 Russian nationals and three entities connected to the agency for using social media to sow discord among Americans ahead of the election.
The indictment alleged that the IRA began working “in or around 2014” to interfere in the election.
You can read all of the Wall Street Journal‘s report here.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).