Google launches probe into Russian meddling of 2016 United States polls

Russia's RT dismisses US election probe Twitter ads revelation

A Twitter statement said the social media company shared data with congressional investigators about ads from RT, a television group with links to the Moscow government.

Twitter revealed that it had discovered over 200 accounts on its social media platform that were linked to Russian Federation, similar to the ones found on Facebook that allegedly helped sway the results of the 2016 presidential election. Notably, it also added that it has found 179 additional accounts which violated its rules.

Twitter sold more than $270,000 of promotions to Russia-connected records amid the 2016 election, the organization said this week, additionally itemizing the degree of potential outside impact that is prodded Senate investigations and calls for more prominent direction. However, with the presidential election long finished, it might be a little too late for Twitter and Facebook to make sure that their platforms are not manipulated by external parties with an agenda.

Twitter said on Thursday it had suspended about 200 Russian-linked accounts as it probes online efforts to meddle with the 2016 United States election, but an influential Democratic senator slammed its steps as insufficient.

Google hasn't yet said whether it would accept an invitation this week from the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify publicly on November 1 about Russian interference. The handles @RT_com, @RT_America, and @ActualidadRT together promoted more than 1,800 tweets targeted at avid followers of mainstream media and promoted RT tweets about news stories, the company said on its blog. Twitter also informed that it has removed "Tweets that were attempting to suppress or otherwise interfere with the exercise of voting rights". Some $100,000 was spent on the Facebook ads.

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The company's presentation to the Intelligence Committee "showed an enormous lack of understanding from the Twitter team of how serious this issue is", Warner said.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Vermont, said Twitter's presentation was "deeply disappointing" and "inadequate on nearly every level", according to The Washington Post.

In January, a USA intelligence report on Russian election interference - an accusation Moscow has repeatedly denied - labelled RT "the Kremlin's principal worldwide propaganda outlet".

A study released Thursday meanwhile found the campaign to spread "junk news" during the 2016 presidential election via Twitter appeared to target key states that were the most contested.

The researchers said that in the days leading up to the election, "Twitter users got more misinformation, polarizing and conspiratorial content than professionally produced news". Twitter has suspended each one of those accounts.

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