Twitter notifies 1.4 million of Russian account interaction


Leon Neal / AFP/Getty Images

Last Updated Jan 31, 2018 4:34 PM EST

Twitter notified 1.4 million people that they may have interacted with fake Russia-backed accounts during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the company announced Wednesday afternoon. 

Twitter identified 3,814 accounts “potentially connected to a propaganda effort by a Russian government-linked organization known as the Internet Research Agency.” According to Twitter, an “interaction” with any of these Russian-linked accounts is identified as either following, retweeting, quoting, replying to, mentioning, or liking those accounts or their content. 

Anyone who was actively following any of these accounts was suspended.

The notification marks a sharp increase in the number of U.S.-based Twitter users notified. Only two days ago, Twitter notified just 677,775 people of their potential interaction with the Russian accounts.

In the end of October, Twitter testified before Congress alongside Facebook and Google as part of congressional investigators’ ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

“We have heard the concerns about Twitter’s role in Russian efforts to disrupt the 2016 election and about our commitment to addressing this issue,” Twitter’s Acting General Counsel Twitter Sean J. Edgett said in his testimony. “Twitter believes that any activity of that kind—regardless of magnitude—is intolerable, and we agree that we must do better to prevent it.”

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