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Russian twitter bots promoted The Labour Party in UK elections, says report

Urging Twitter to act to prevent such interference in the country's election in the future, UK's digital and culture secretary Matthew Hancock said the revelations are "extremely concerning".

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Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), charged with meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, focused on dividing the Americans over race via its 3,517 ads on Facebook.
Democrats from the US House Intelligence Committee last week released 3,517 advertisements that were run on Facebook by the IRA during the 2014-2016 period. Pixabay

Russian Twitter bots attempted to influence the 2017 UK general election results by promoting Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, according to an investigation by The Sunday Times.

Conducted in conjunction with Swansea University, the research discovered that in the run up to the election, 6,500 Russian Twitter accounts, many of which are run by Internet robots known as “bots”, supported the Labour Party.

It has been claimed that most of these accounts, which tried to denigrate the Conservative rivals, were created just weeks before the polling day.

The Labour Party's people-powered election campaign attracted huge levels of public support online. We were not aware of any from automated bots, categorically did not pay for any and are not aware of any of our supporters doing so," a Labour Party spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
Representational Image, Pixabay

The Labour Party denied any wrongdoing and said that its “people-powered election campaign” was the reason for its success.

“The Labour Party’s people-powered election campaign attracted huge levels of public support online. We were not aware of any from automated bots, categorically did not pay for any and are not aware of any of our supporters doing so,” a Labour Party spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

The election saw Corbyn’s Labour Party increase its tally by 31 seats. Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a major setback and lost her parliamentary majority in the election.

Urging Twitter to act to prevent such interference in the country’s election in the future, UK’s digital and culture secretary Matthew Hancock said the revelations are “extremely concerning”.

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“It is absolutely unacceptable for any nation to attempt to interfere in the democratic elections of another country,” he told The Sunday Times.

“The social media companies need to act to safeguard our democratic discourse and reveal what they know,” Hancock said. (IANS)

Next Story

Twitter for Mac App is Coming Back, Company Confirms

The company previously had a Twitter for Mac app that was discontinued in February 2018

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Twitter, Mac, App
Twitter made the announcement during Apple's WWDC conference last week. Pixabay

Micro-blogging site Twitter has announced that it will be bringing back “Twitter to Mac” with help from Apple’s Project Catalyst, Pro, which is Apple’s initiative to help developers port their iOS apps into Mac.

It made the announcement during Apple’s WWDC conference last week, saying that the app would launch with Catalina and this new version would have a variety of features like dark mode, keyboard shortcuts, multiple windows, and notifications, The Verge reported late on Saturday.

In a post about the return of it for Mac users, the company said: “We are excited that Project Catalyst will enable us to bring it back to the Mac by leveraging our existing iOS codebase. We’ll also be able to add native Mac features on top of our existing iPad experience, while keeping our maintenance efficient as we continue to improve this shared codebase in the years to come.”

The company previously had a “Twitter for Mac app” that was discontinued in February 2018 because it was not sustainable to maintain two separate codebases.

Twitter, Mac, App
Micro-blogging site Twitter has announced that it will be bringing back “Twitter to Mac” with help from Apple’s Project Catalyst, Pro. Pixabay

According to the report, the company said that with Project Catalyst, they would be able to use their existing iOS codebase along with new features for desktops.

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The all-new Twitter for Mac is being developed and is scheduled for an early launch by this year on macOS Catalina 10.15. (IANS)