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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
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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)

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Live News Events on Your Twitter Timeline, Notifications

Twitter to put live news events in your timeline, notifications

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Live News Events on Your Twitter Timeline, Notifications
Live News Events on Your Twitter Timeline, Notifications. Pixabay

Twitter has announced that it will put more live news events in your timeline and notifications and might also send users customised push notification if an event is happening that they may be interested in.

“We’ve been working to change how you discover all the information around news, events, and stories. It’ll be easier to find and follow the big events and stories you care about in your timeline, notifications and Explore,” Twitter said in a blog post on Thursday.

Twitter is now experimenting with topic tabs in its “Explore” tab so that it will be easier to see what’s happening in news and entertainment and what’s most relevant to you.

“Starting today, at the top of search results, you’ll see related news, events, or stories and be able to tap in to get a recap and see the latest discussion, videos or scores,” it added.

At the top of your timeline, users will now see the news that’s relevant to them along with the surrounding tweets and videos.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The new features will be available in the coming months to everyone in the US on iOS and Android.

“We’re also experimenting with sending notifications to you based on your interests (like who you follow and what you Tweet about), so you won’t miss a beat,” Twitter noted.

You can always turn off these notifications by going to your recommendations settings and toggling to not see the news.

Also Read: Twitter to Revive Accounts Suspended by Age Restriction

For its “Moments” feature that was launched in 2015 as a way to discover and learn about what’s new, Twitter is introducing a new vertical timeline experience.

“Some Moments” including Moments outside of the US, Sponsored Moments, and Moments created by you “will temporarily continue to be horizontal as we roll out this change”, Twitter said. (IANS)