MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Twitter: Russian news agency spent $274K on US-targeted ads in 2016

FILE- This April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Twitter app on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. Social media giant Twitter will visit Capitol Hill Sept. 28, as part of the House and Senate investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Following a congressional hearing Thursday, Twitter revealed in a blog post that Russia's state-sponsored television network, RT, had spent $274,100 on ads targeted to the U.S. in 2016.

A "round-up" of such ads -- most of which promoted RT news stories -- was provided to the House and Senate intelligence committees holding the hearing, the post read.

The post also disclosed that Twitter has identified 22 accounts linked to misinformation-spreading Facebook accounts, which were suspended, and 179 "related or linked" accounts -- some of which were taken action against.

"Twitter deeply respects the integrity of the election process, which is a cornerstone for all democracies," the post read. "We will continue to strengthen Twitter against attempted manipulation, including malicious automated accounts and spam, as well as other activities that violate our Terms of Service."

The congressional committees in question have been investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the role sites like Twitter and Facebook played in propagating that nation's agenda through the sharing of false news.

Alongside Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the legislative investigators also are looking into possible collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

In a January report, the U.S. intelligence committee concluded Russia attempted swaying the election in favor of Trump -- and against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee called Thursday's hearing "deeply disappointing."

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said the information Twitter shared was "frankly inadequate on almost every level." He also said the company seemed not to appreciate the seriousness of the probe.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, also expressed dissatisfaction with Twitter's internal review of the matter.

"It is clear that Twitter has significant forensic work to do to understand the depth and breadth of Russian activity during the campaign," Schiff said in a statement. "This additional analysis will require a far more robust investigation into how Russian actors used their platform as a part of their active measures campaign and whether any of the targeting on Twitter suggests the possibility of assistance or collusion with any U.S. persons."

Twitter's meetings come after similar briefings from Facebook earlier this month.

The Senate panel has invited both tech giants, along with Google owner Alphabet, to appear at open-door hearings this fall.

Trending