Twitter: 700,000 Americans Liked, Retweeted, And Followed Russian Propaganda Bots During The Presidential Election


Controversy continues to surround the Trump administration as allegations of Russian influence during the presidential election persist. Twitter confirms that nearly 700,000 users were misled.

The social media platform noted that the aforementioned number of Americans liked, followed, and retweeted accounts that are suspected to belong to the Kremlin. The company confirmed that it has and will cooperate with any inquiry over the Russian propaganda that is yet to be stopped.

Twitter Delivers A Statement

"Twitter is committed to providing a platform that fosters healthy civic discourse and democratic debate. We have been cooperating with congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U. S. presidential election," according to the company's blog post.

"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," it continued.

How About The Users?

The official blog post from Twitter listed a total of 677,775 Americans interacted with the flagged accounts. According to the social media company's post, those users were reportedly contacted via email.

The Russian bots were allegedly planted strategically to misinform the public and spread propaganda that benefitted the current administration prior to their victory.

The accounts that were identified to be part of the Kremlin's bid to influence the election outcome were all suspended, according to the blog post. Also, the posted content were taken down and are no longer visible to the public.

Investigation Ongoing

Sources involved with the investigation revealed that the Internet Research Agency (IRA) is actually a Russian government-funded cyber group.

Meanwhile, Trump denies that his administration conspired with the Russians. Even though several intelligence authorities have reached an agreement that there was foul play, he has yet to undeniably announce that the Kremlin was involved in the 2016 election.

What Can The Platform Do As A Preventive Measure?

To minimize the chances of the same incident creating media buzz to influence political decisions, Twitter plans to revisit its sign-up process so that automated scripts cannot create dummy accounts anymore. It cannot afford to let another 700,000 or more users fall victim all over again.

Also, Twitter is not the only platform used by the Russians to spread misinformation. Facebook and YouTube were also reportedly manipulated to deliver the unwarranted propaganda.

Despite the intense crackdown against IRA-related accounts, intelligence reports confirm that Russia is aggressively trying to worm its way into American politics. It's only a matter of time until the next presidential election experiences another surge of Twitter posts from undesirable sources, unless an effective way has been implemented to prevent it.

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