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Twitter Suspends 2 Accounts Linked to Russian Intelligence After Hacking Indictment

Friday’s indictment was the first by Mueller that directly charges the Russian government with meddling in the election. The Kremlin denies it interfered

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Twitter in recent months has purged suspicious user accounts in a bid to prevent the dissemination of fake news
Twitter in recent months has purged suspicious user accounts in a bid to prevent the dissemination of fake news. Pixabay

Social networking site Twitter Saturday suspended two accounts linked to 12 Russian spies indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

On Friday, a federal grand jury charged the 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic computer networks in 2016 in the most detailed U.S. accusation yet that Moscow meddled in the election to help Republican Donald Trump.

Twitter said Saturday it had suspended the accounts @DCLeaks_ and @Guccifer_2 that were named in the indictment, which alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy involving sophisticated hacking and staged release of documents.

The indictment alleges that from around June 2016 the conspirators released tens of thousands of stolen emails and documents “using fictitious online personas, including ‘DCLeaks’ and ‘Guccifer 2.0.’”

The Twitter application is seen on a phone screen.
The Twitter application is seen on a phone screen. VOA

In a statement Saturday, a Twitter spokesman said: “The accounts have been suspended for being connected to a network of accounts previously suspended for operating in violation of our rules.”

Twitter in recent months has purged suspicious user accounts in a bid to prevent the dissemination of fake news and “encourage healthy conversation,” the company said this month.

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Friday’s indictment was the first by Mueller that directly charges the Russian government with meddling in the election. The Kremlin denies it interfered.

Speaking at a cybersecurity conference in Philadelphia on Saturday, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the indictments proved that the United States “will not tolerate interference with our democratic processes and that there will be consequences for foreign meddling.” (VOA)

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Twitter Finally Rolls out ‘Hide Replies’ Feature Globally: Report

It will soon launch a new "hide replies endpoint" so developers can build additional conversation management tools

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The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

Twitter has finally rolled out its “Hide Replies” feature globally which lets users hide replies they think are irrelevant, off-topic, or annoying and are changing the course of the discussion on the platform.

The option to hide replies which may be offensive, hateful or racist in nature has rolled out globally on iOS, Android, Twitter Lite and twitter.com, the micro-blogging platform said in a statement late Thursday.

Currently, people who reply to your tweet can shift the topic or tone of a discussion and derail what you and your audience wants to talk about.

“To give you more control over the conversations you start, we tested the option for you to hide replies to your Tweets. We learned that the feature is a useful new way to manage your conversations. Today, we’re making this available to everyone globally,” said Twitter.

Here’s how it works.

Anyone can choose to hide replies to their Tweets. Everyone can see and engage with hidden replies by tapping the grey icon that will appear on the Tweets.

This way, users will have more control over the conversations they start but people can still see the entire conversation.

The option is a new way to shut out noise as 85 per cent of the people who hide replies are not using block or mute.

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Twitter is a social media app that encourages short tweets and brief conversations. Pixabay

It is not the equivalent of a delete button, but hides replies behind an icon.

If your followers still want to see the hidden replies, they can press the icon and view those.

A Twitter user can also hide replies that attempt to correct misinformation or offer a fact check.

The feature was first tested in Canada in July, then in the US and Japan this September.

In Canada, 27 per cent of people who had their Tweets hidden said they would reconsider how they interact with others in the future. Also, they thought it was a helpful way to manage what they saw, similar to muted keywords.

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“Some people mentioned that they didn’t want to hide replies due to fear of retaliation as the icon remains visible. We’ll continue to get feedback on this,” said Twitter.

The company said it is also working on new controls and more clarity around the rules of conversation spaces.

It will soon launch a new “hide replies endpoint” so developers can build additional conversation management tools. (IANS)