25 Jan'18

Twitter identified more Russian-backed accounts and tweets

Twitter posted on Friday 19th January an update on Russian-backed Twitter adds during the 2016 US Election.


In the press release, Twitter stated since ‘we presented our finding to Congress last fall, we have updated our analysis and continue to look for patterns and signals in data.’


The update to their findings is that they have identified an additional 1062 accounts associated with IRA (Internet Research Agency) the Russian government-linked organisation thought to be responsible for the propaganda effort of spreading influential posts in the run up to the US election.


Similar to the previous accounts that have been branded as IRA, these newly identified accounts have been suspended and the account information passed on to the US government.


The total number of IRA-backed accounts is 3814 with the total number of tweets being 175, 992 and an estimate of 8.4% of tweets were election-related.


Twitter report about the Russian-controlled Twitter accounts that influenced the US election extends to discuss their general actions for detecting and blocking suspicious and automated accounts.


They stated that they ‘have developed new techniques for identifying malicious automation’ and ‘improved their phone verification process’.


To build on these improvements, Twitter plan to i) invest in machine-learning capabilities ii)using Twitter API limit the ability of users to perform one action across multiple accounts iii) develop their onboarding process.


Business Insider’s feature refers back to when the Russian-linked activity on Twitter and Facebook first came to light and the large amount of criticism they received for their lack of insight.


Twitter, as well as Facebook (having recently announced their they will begin to rank news items based on how trustworthy the source is) appear to be making head away with prohibiting this occurring again.