WASHINGTON – Twitter told congressional investigators Thursday that it found more than 200 Russia-linked accounts during its review of malicious bots and misinformation during the 2016 president campaign.
The social media company also revealed that RT, a propaganda news site linked to the Kremlin, spent at least $274,100 in US ads on Twitter. Its Twitter handles — @RT_com, @RT_America, and @ActualidadRT — promoted more than 1,800 tweets targeted to followers of mainstream media. RT was actively involved the Russian interference in the 2016 election by partnering with WikiLeaks to publicize the damaging Democratic National Committee hacked emails and to denigrate Hillary Clinton, according to US intelligence reports.
Twitter revealed the findings after its Vice President for Public Policy Colin Crowell met with staff from Senate and House Intelligence Committees to discuss Russian’s influence campaign in the 2016 presidential election.
“We are concerned about violations of our Terms of Service and US law with respect to interference in the exercise of voting rights,” Twitter said in statement following the Capitol meeting.
The revelations come as House and Senate investigators are honing in on false information perpetuated on social media during the election. Facebook revealed on Sept. 6 that it accepted some $100,000 in ad spending that was connected with 470 inauthentic accounts likely operated out of Russia.
Under pressure, Facebook last week agreed to hand over information on its Russia-backed ads to congressional investigators. Some of the more than 3,000 Kremlin-linked ads sought to stir up trouble in the Black Lives Matter movement and Clinton’s campaign.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) wasn’t satisfied with Twitter’s presentation Thursday, calling it “frankly inadequate on almost every level.”
Twitter, however, said it took action to shut down tweets that spread false voting information. For example, it removed tweets that urged…