Thursday February 21, 2019
Home Lead Story Russian twitt...

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".

0
//
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”.

Also Read: Pakistani Christians Not Feeling Safe After The IS Attack

“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

Micro-blogging Site Twitter To Test Redesigned Conversations Layout With Wider Set of iOS Users

It remains unclear by when the Prototype Programme reach Android and web users would be able to register and test Twitter's redesigned conversations interface

0
Twitter CEO
This April 26, 2017, photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. According to a study released Jan. 24, 2019, a tiny fraction of Twitter users spread the vast majority of fake news in 2016, with conservatives and older people sharing misinformation more. VOA

The Micro-blogging site Twitter is launching a test of its redesigned conversations layout with a wider set of iOS users and is accepting survey-based applications from people who are willing to try the new interface out.

“Twitter is exploring new ways to make the conversations you care about easier to read, understand, and join. Apply to be part of our Twitter Prototype Programme and look out for an email with an update on your application status,” the company informed via a post on Wednesday.

A new rounded shape to replies makes a Twitter thread look more like text messages. Replies from people you follow appear in blue and replies from the original tweeter are in gray, The Verge reported.

The micro-blogging site is also experimenting with various options it could add for the viewing of likes and retweets of posts.

Twitter testing redesigned conversations layout with more iOS users. Pixabay

“The number of likes and retweets that a reply has received are now hidden until a user clicks on the reply, along with sharing options and other details about the tweet,” the report said.

In October last year, the company said it was redesigning conversations on the platform to encourage friendlier and more useful discussions with features like “presence indicators” and “ice breakers”, the media had reported.

Also Read- Reliance Jio Adds 85 Lakh Subscribers in December; Airtel, Vodafone Idea Lose Users

It remains unclear by when the Prototype Programme reach Android and web users would be able to register and test Twitter’s redesigned conversations interface. (IANS)