Saturday, October 24, 2020
Home Lead Story Twitter Releases Tweets Showing Attempts Of Influence On U.S. Politics From Foreign...

Twitter Releases Tweets Showing Attempts Of Influence On U.S. Politics From Foreign Countries

All of the accounts linked to the massive trove of tweets released by Twitter have been suspended or deleted.

On Wednesday, Twitter released a collection of more than 10 million tweets related to thousands of accounts affiliated with Russia’s Internet Research Agency propaganda organization, as well as hundreds more troll accounts, including many based in Iran.

The data, analyzed and released in a report by The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, are made up of 3,841 accounts affiliated with the Russia-based Internet Research Agency, 770 other accounts potentially based in Iran as well as 10 million tweets and more than 2 million images, videos and other media.

Russian trolls targeting U.S. politics took on personas from both the left and the right. Their primary goal appears to have been to sow discord, rather than promote any particular side, presumably with a goal of weakening the United States, the report said.

DFRlab says the Russian trolls were often effective, drawing tens of thousands of retweets on certain posts including from celebrity commentators like conservative Ann Coulter.

Russia, Twitter
The Internet Research Agency building, dubbed the Russian troll factory, is seen at Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg, Russia. VOA

Some of the tweets posted:

“Judgement Day is here. Please vote #TrumpPence16 to save our great nation from destruction! #draintheswamp #TrumpForPresident,” said a fake Election Day tweet in 2016.

“Daily reminder: Trump still hasn’t imposed sanctions on Russia that were passed 4,193 in the House and 982 in the Senate. Shouldn’t that be grounds for impeachment?” said another tweet in March of this year.

Multiple goals

The Russian operation had multiple goals, including interfering in the U.S. presidential election, polarizing online communities, and weakening trust in American institutions, according to the DFRLab.

“The thing to understand is that the Russians were equal opportunity partisans,” Graham Brookie, one of the researchers behind the analysis, told VOA News. “There was a very specific focus on specific ideological communities and specific demographics.”

Twitter
The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, speaks at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council in Washington. VOA

Following an initial push to prevent Hillary Clinton from being elected in 2016, the analysis identified a “second wave” of fake accounts, many of which were focused on infiltrating anti-Trump groups, especially those identified with the “Resistance” movement, exploiting sensitive issues such as race relations and gun violence. These often achieved greater impact than their conservative counterparts.

“Don’t ever tell me kneeling for the flag is disrespectful to our troops when Trump calls a sitting Senator “Pocahontas” in front of Native American war heroes,” tweeted an account posing as an African-American woman named “Luisa Haynes” under the handle @wokeluisa in November 2017. The tweet garnered more than 32,000 retweets and over 89,000 likes.

“They tried to inflame everybody, regardless of race, creed, politics or sexual orientation,” the Lab noted in its analysis. “On many occasions, they pushed both sides of divisive issues.”

Iran trolling

Iran’s trolling was primarily focused on promoting its own interests, including attacking regional rivals like Israel and Saudi Arabia.

However, Iran’s trolling was less effective than the Russian posts, with most tweets getting limited responses.

Twitter
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

This was partially because of posting styles that were less inflammatory, according to the report.

“Few of the accounts showed distinctive personalities: They largely shared online articles,” according to the report. “As such, they were a poor fit for Twitter, where personal comment tends to resonate more strongly than website shares.” Generally, many troll posts were ineffective, and “their operations were washed away in the firehose of Twitter.”

All of the accounts linked to the massive trove of tweets released by Twitter have been suspended or deleted, and the analysis notes that overall activity from suspected Russian trolls fell this year after Twitter clampdowns in September and June 2017.

Also Read: Facebook Better Prepared To Defend Itself Against External Manipulation For The Elections

But, that does not mean political trolls do not still pose a threat.

“Identifying future foreign influence operations, and reducing their impact, will demand awareness and resilience from the activist communities targeted, not just the platforms and the open source community,” according to the report. (VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,777FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Consumption of Dietary Soy Decreases Risk of Dementia

Researchers have found that metabolite produced following consumption of dietary soy may decrease a key risk factor for dementia--with the help of the right...

Maintaining Social Etiquettes During the Festive Season

The festive season brings together people from all walks of life, this 'coming together' is what imparts cultural and linguistic integration amongst all communities;...

Anxiety Due to COVID Causing Body Image Issues

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that anxiety and stress directly linked to COVID-19 could be causing a number of body image issues...

Ashtottaram 21: OṀ GOPŪJĀBHŨMYAI NAMAH

Ashtottaram 21 21) OṀ GOPŪJĀBHŨMYAI NAMAH:                      OṀ (AUM) -GO-POO-JAA-BHOO-MYAI— NA-MA-HA                      ॐ गोपूजाभूम्यै नमः                      (Gopūja: 'Cow worship') There is an Indian proverb that says that the joys of the world...

Antiviral Remdesivir Receives FDA Approval for COVID Treatment

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age...

Excess Meat and Dairy Diet Leads to Cancer Risk

An international team of researchers has identified a direct molecular link between meat and dairy diets and the development of antibodies in the blood...

Aspirin May Lower the Death Risk of Severe COVID Patients

Researchers have claimed that hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were taking a daily low-dose aspirin to protect against cardiovascular disease had a significantly lower risk...

Misuse of Underground Water to be Punishable Offense

Wastage and misuse of potable water and groundwater will, henceforth, be a punishable offense in India. In an important step in groundwater preservation in the...

Recent Comments