Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Twitter makes public Russia, Iran meddling tweet trove

Russian special forces 10m tweets by Russian and Iranian trolls released
Patty Aguilar | 19 October, 2018, 18:03

The analysis - performed by the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab - reflects an attempt by some in Iran to "spread regime messaging through covert channels".

The United States accused Russian Federation of meddling in the presidential election in 2016 with the help of a massive campaign of "Troll factory" in the American social networks.

The social media website has published datasets comprising 10 million tweets which includes text, images, GIF, videos from Russian Federation and Iran affiliated accounts.

Twitter released massive datasets today of all accounts and content determined to be related to influence operations conducted on the social media platform since 2016.

As a result of its investigation into Russian interference around the 2016 presidential election, Twitter said back in January that it had notified around 1.4 million people that they had directly engaged with Russia-linked accounts during the election or had actively followed those accounts at the time they were suspended. They stressed that they would "continue to proactively combat nefarious attempts to undermine the integrity of Twitter".

The trove of data revealed numerous instances when Russian troll accounts tweeted on both sides of divisive debates in the US After shootings in San Bernardino in 2015, one post wrote, "mass shootings won't stop until there are #GunFreeZones #Prayers4California".

10m tweets by Russian and Iranian trolls released

"It is clear that information operations and coordinated inauthentic behavior will not cease", Twitter said. Millions, according to Twitter.

Some of the since-removed, Iran-tied Twitter accounts had been explicit in their design, linking to government-funded media outlet PressTV.

According to initial analysis by the Atlantic Council, the Russian operation mostly used events in the United Kingdom to polarise communities in the US.

Twitter says it made the cache, which includes tweets from Iran and Russia's state-sponsored troll farm, Internet Research Agency, available so researchers around the world could conduct their own analyses. Similar accounts with suspected Iranian ties cloaked their efforts as French, Croatian and Spanish reporters. Numerous accounts were created to look like they were run by real Americans.

Nimmo pointed to the blast of social media activity after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine, which global investigators blamed on Russian Federation.

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