Published: Sun, October 01, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Russian Manipulation Of US Elections: Facebook, Twitter And Google Asked To Testify

Russian Manipulation Of US Elections: Facebook, Twitter And Google Asked To Testify

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said last week that his company was investigating Russian influence, according to the Daily Beast. All have been suspended, the company said. Although there is nothing yet official about it, many experts believe that many of these Twitter and Facebook activities by Russia-linked accounts helped Donald Trump win the election. Some Democrats have called for social-media companies to face disclosure requirements for political advertising.

Twitter examined the roughly 450 accounts that Facebook identified as Russian Federation linked and concluded 22 had a corresponding accounts on Twitter. All of those accounts, Twitter said, had been or were soon banned, usually for violating spam rules.

Twitter also shared with committee staff ads that three Russia Today (RT) accounts targeted to the U.S. market in 2016.

The Russian government was linked to a "Blacktivist" account on both Twitter and Facebook that was meant to stoke racial tensions in the USA during the presidential elections.

Twitter said Thursday its vice president for public policy, Colin Crowell, told staff from two congressional panels investigating alleged Russian interference that RT spent $274,100 in United States ads in 2016.

Both committees have looked into how Russian hackers used social media platforms to spread misinformation using fake accounts and other methods during the election.

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Twitter said Russian media outlet RT, a state-funded broadcaster that is close to the Kremlin, spent $274,100 on Twitter advertisements and promoted 1,823 tweets aimed at the US market during the election year. And after the discussion of fake news, Russian accounts, and bots on President Trump's favorite social network ended, Twitter updated the public on its efforts to get to the bottom of the abuses of its systems.

Twitter representatives will appear at a hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, a person familiar with the matter told Business Insider.

"Twitter deeply respects the integrity of the election process, which is a cornerstone for all democracies", the company said in the post.

"Their response was frankly inadequate on nearly every level. And there will always be tools or methods we can not talk about, because doing so would only help bad actors circumvent them", Twitter's blog post reads.

Twitter, Facebook and Google haven't yet said whether they will accept the invitations to testify publicly before both intelligence committees, according to ABC News.

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