0.016% of accounts: Twitter catches a few more 'Russian trolls' as Congress-spurred hunt continues
Twitter has blocked another 1000 accounts it reckons posted Russian-linked "propaganda" to influence the 2016 US election, while admitting that only some eight percent of the sinister "Kremlin troll'" tweets were election-related.
"We have identified an additional 1,062 accounts associated with the IRA [Internet Research Agency, a Russian entity habitually accused of meddling with US democracy]. We have suspended all of these accounts for Terms of Service violations," the San Francisco based social media giant said Friday.
"At the request of congressional investigators, we are also sharing those account handles with Congress."
The accounts were terminated despite the fact that over 91.6% percent of tweets associated with the "Russia-linked" profiles had nothing to do with the US election, as Twitter keeps caving in to political pressure by US lawmakers.
Ever since the Democrats found its initial investigation – which led to a mere 201 suspensions – “inadequate on almost every level” , Twitter has been hard at work to satisfy lawmakers by digging up more 'Russian influencers.'
In November, Twitter shared a list of 2,752 "IRA-linked trolls" it had blocked. "In total, during the time period we investigated, the 3,814 identified IRA-linked accounts posted 175,993 Tweets, approximately 8.4% of which were election-related," Twitter said Friday.
The company also said it would email 677,775 users who liked or retweeted messages from the newly suspended accounts to notify them of the spread of misinformation. Twitter also shared screenshot examples of the tweets sent out from the alleged IRA-linked accounts.
Overall, Twitter said Friday that so-called Russian election interference represented approximately two one-hundredths of the accounts it had at the time of the election.
"We have identified 13,512 additional accounts, for a total of 50,258 automated accounts that we identified as Russian-linked and tweeting election-related content during the election period, representing approximately two one-hundredths of a percent (0.016%) of the total accounts on Twitter at the time," the company said.
In its relentless pursuit to find more "Russian trolls" to punish, Twitter has been casting a particularly wide net. The critera for potential meddlers include honing in on whoever who has logged in from a Russian IP and even having Cyrillic characters in one's username.
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