Twitter starts notifying users who followed Russian propaganda accounts

Twitter User

In an effort of transparency, Twitter is sending out email notifications to the more than 600,000 users who interacted with content from any of the of the since-suspended Russia-linked accounts.

Were you duped by Russian-linked Twitter accounts during the 2016 US presidential election?

Twitter said it believed that automated election-linked activity on some accounts was coming allegedly from Russian Federation.

Emails will go out to anyone who followed an account, retweeted, or liked a Tweet put out by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), an organization believed to be connected to Russian government propaganda efforts.

All the suspicious accounts in question have been suspended, noted Twitter's blog post.

The top Democrat from the intelligence committee in the U.S. House praised on Friday the move taken by Twitter and urged other technology companies to continue investigating abuse on their own platforms by the Russians during the country's 2016 elections.

"We have committed to be as transparent as possible about sharing what we have learned through our retroactive investigation into activity related to the election", the company said.

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Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes, did not respond directly to a request for comment on the Russian-linked internet activity surrounding the memo.

Twitter also said that it has improved its system to identify, detect, and block "bad actors" from infiltrating its platforms, and has significantly ramped up its ability to root out suspicious accounts in recent months.

Going forward, Twitter says it plans to clamp down on usage of the Twitter API, which enables users to perform coordinated actions across multiple accounts in services like Tweetdeck.

The company has also shared some examples of content that received significant engagement. Twitter says it's now uncovered more accounts and new information on the wide-reaching Russian cyberintelligence campaign. If simple spammers can create and promote bots by the tens of thousands, Russian intelligence could easily have brought more to bear here.

"The Committee's open hearing last November with Twitter, Facebook and Google revealed the extent to which the Russians exploited vulnerabilities inherent in the openness of our society and social media platforms, and it is vital these companies are transparent with users who were likely exposed to Kremlin propaganda and disinformation", Representative Adam Schiff said in a statement.

The 175,993 tweets from those accounts were spread far and wide by the network of automated tweeters supporting them.

And Donald Trump Jr. also followed the @TEN_GOP account.

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