Twitter shuts 201 accounts tied to Russian operatives

SAN FRANCISCO – Twitter stated Thursday it had shut down 201 accounts that have been tied to the identical Russian operatives who posted hundreds of political advertisements on Fb, however the effort annoyed lawmakers who stated the issue is way broader than the corporate appeared to know.

The corporate stated it additionally discovered three accounts from the information website RT – which Twitter linked to the Kremlin – that spent $274,one hundred in advertisements on its platform in 2016.

Regardless of the disclosures, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., questioned whether or not the corporate is doing sufficient to cease Russian operatives from utilizing its platform to unfold disinformation and division in U.S. society.

Warner stated Twitter’s presentation to a closed-door assembly of Senate Intelligence Committee staffers Thursday morning was “deeply disappointing” and “insufficient on virtually each degree.” Twitter additionally made a presentation to Home Intelligence Committee staffers within the afternoon.

The corporate “confirmed an unlimited lack of knowledge … about how critical this challenge is, the menace it poses to democratic establishments,” stated a visibly annoyed Warner.

The conferences between the corporate and congressional investigators have been a part of a widening authorities probe into how Russian operatives used Fb, Twitter, Google and different know-how platforms to widen fissures in america and unfold disinformation through the 2016 marketing campaign. These corporations have come underneath growing strain from Capitol Hill to research Russian meddling and are dealing with the potential for new laws that would impression their large promoting companies.

The Washington Publish reported this week that a few of the three,000 Fb advertisements purchased by Russian operatives promoted African American rights teams, together with Black Lives Matter. These advertisements have been focused at customers in particular places comparable to Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, two cities which have confronted violent protests over police shootings of black males. Advertisements aimed toward voters in different areas, in the meantime, instructed that the identical teams posed a rising political menace.

Different advertisements featured Muslims supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton for president and have been focused at Fb customers who may worry Muslims.

Fb, Google and Twitter are being summoned to a public listening to earlier than the Senate Intelligence Committee on Nov. 1.

The Twitter accounts, which have been taken down over the previous month, have been related to 470 accounts and pages that Fb this…

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