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Twitter Found Over 200 Russia-Linked Accounts, Suspends Some Of Them: That's Not Enough, Says Senator

29 September 2017, 6:12 am EDT By Aaron Mamiit Tech Times
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Twitter revealed that it had discovered over 200 accounts on its social media platform that were linked to Russia, similar to the ones found on Facebook that allegedly helped sway the results of the 2016 presidential election.

The reaction of Twitter upon finding the Russia-linked accounts, however, came under fire from a senator.

Twitter Discovers Russia-Linked Accounts

Earlier this month, Facebook representatives said that the social network sold advertisements during the 2016 presidential election to a Russian "troll farm" worth $100,000. The Russian advertisements, which have been turned over to Congress, were used to sway the results of the election.

In a blog post, Twitter revealed that there was a similar thing happening in its platform. Twitter studied roughly 450 accounts that Facebook flagged in its review, and found that 22 of them had corresponding accounts on its platform. These accounts were immediately suspended, if they had not yet already been, for breaking the service's rules, with most of them in violation of spam regulations.

In addition to that, Twitter discovered an additional 179 accounts connected to the accounts. The company said that it took action on the ones that violated the platform's rules. It was unclear exactly how many accounts were found to be violating rules and suspended.

Twitter noted that the 201 accounts were not properly registered as advertisers on the platform, and that it will continue its investigation into the matter and take action if it sees other accounts violating its terms of service.

Twitter Response Not Enough, Says Senator

As Twitter said that it had suspended some of the accounts that were linked to Russia, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, was not satisfied with the social media platform's response.

Warner said that the explanation of Twitter were "deeply disappointing," and he suggested that the company does not understand the gravity of the investigation by Congress into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.

According to Warner, the findings of Twitter were merely derived from Facebook's investigations, hinting that he wanted the company to take a more aggressive approach in uncovering more details of the Russian-backed accounts by itself.

Twitter, in its blog post, said that over the next weeks and months, it will be launching several initiatives to improve its response to spam and suspicious activity on its platform. However, with the presidential election long finished, it might be a little too late for Twitter and Facebook to make sure that their platforms are not manipulated by external parties with an agenda.

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