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Twitter airs election meddling data

20 October 2018

The micro-blogging company said in its post, "They include more than 10 million tweets and more than two million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts, including the earliest Twitter activity from accounts connected with these campaigns, dating back to 2009...."

Data journalists and researchers will now get a chance to search through millions of tweets linked with operatives in Russian Federation and Iran.

Twitter added that the goal of the release was to make the data available for researchers and academics for investigation.

The United States accused Russian Federation of meddling in the presidential election in 2016 with the help of a massive campaign of "Troll factory" in the American social networks.

The social media website has published datasets comprising 10 million tweets which includes text, images, GIF, videos from Russian Federation and Iran affiliated accounts.

At the beginning of 2018, Twitter revealed its findings into the 2016 USA presidential election and its effects on it, widely believed to have been a key player in the unexpected electing of Donald Trump.

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Twitter's publication of the tweets comes just weeks before US Congressional elections which are already the subject of Russian and other foreign-directed social media campaigns, according to senior US intelligence officials. "We will continue to proactively combat nefarious attempts to undermine the integrity of Twitter, while partnering with civil society, government, our industry peers, and researchers to improve our collective understanding of coordinated attempts to interfere in the public conversation", Twitter said. "We must #TakeTheKnee", one troll account tweeted.

The data release includes the content of tweets from these accounts, which provides a richer look at how these accounts operated. Another 770 accounts are potentially associated with Iran.

In August this year, Twitter also disclosed details of another attempted influence campaign it identified as potentially located within Iran.

In other cases, the Atlantic Council found accounts in this network that appeared to be average Americans - a game designer from California, for example, or a reporter from Seattle.

"The Russian trolls were non-partisan: they tried to inflame everybody, regardless of race, creed, politics, or sexual orientation", the Lab noted, "On many occasions, they pushed both sides of divisive issues".

Twitter airs election meddling data