Twitter Hands Over Russia Today Account Information To Congress

Twitter said Thursday it had shut down 201 accounts that were tied to the same Russian operatives who posted thousands of political ads on Facebook but the effort frustrated lawmakers who said the problem is far broader than the company appeared to know

The remaining 179 accounts "related or linked" to the 22 accounts were evaluated first, and some were suspended accordingly.

Twitter said that of the more than 400 accounts found through Facebook's review, Twitter found 22 corresponding accounts on its own site.

Mark Warner, D-Va., criticized Twitter's information as merely a follow-up to what Facebook had already disclosed.

In August, Facebook claimed that a Russian troll farm with links to Moscow, had purchased $100,000 in political ads. Alex Stamos, Facebook chief security officer, said at the time that the majority of the ads focused on "divisive social and political messages", including immigration, gun control or LGBT issues. But a co-founder of the company has categorically said that the said feature will not be available to the USA president Donald Trump, a prolific Twitter users who has been accused to threatening nuclear war through his tweets.

Together, those three accounts promoted 1,823 tweets in 2016 "that definitely or potentially targeted the USA market", Twitter said.

"Their response was frankly inadequate on nearly every level", he told reporters.

Warner said that Twitter's presentation appeared mostly derived from Facebook's previous disclosures, showing "an enormous lack of understanding on the Twitter team of how serious this issue is, the threat it poses to democratic institutions, and again, begs many more questions".

Twitter on Friday revealed that almost 2,000 ads were placed on the messaging service in 2016 by a Russian media group suspected of trying to interfere with the US Presidential election.

Senate staffers want to learn more about how disinformation on Twitter made its way into the news, and whether bots were used to boost Google rankings of fake or misleading news items, according to Politico.

It didn't cite specific data, but Twitter also noted in its report that Russian Federation and Soviet-associated nations "have been a primary source of automated and spammy content on Twitter for many years". Twitter noted that none of the accounts were registered for ads on its platform. Many lawmakers have expressed concerns about the proliferation of anonymous "bots" on Twitter and their potential to spread misinformation, according to ABC News. In the wake of a meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators, the microblogging site has publicly revealed details of Russia's attempted meddling.

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