Russia Probe: Twitter has been called to meet United States intelligence committees

Russians targeted race and other divisive issues with Facebook political ads

Russians targeted race and other divisive issues with Facebook political ads

"I don't think we've more than scratched the surface in terms of our understanding of how the Russians may have used [the Twitter] platform", said Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

The social media company also revealed that RT, a propaganda news site linked to the Kremlin, spent at least $274,100 in USA ads on Twitter.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that Twitter bots linked to Russian Federation have been spreading politically charged messages as recently as last weekend, promoting hashtags and trending topics like #standforouranthem and #takeaknee, following President Donald Trump's controversial National Football League comments last Friday.

Twitter has not made details about the accounts public.

In a statement released by the company on Thursday, Twitter said it carried out an investigation into over 450 accounts shared by Facebook after the social network conducted a similar investigation.

Russians targeted race and other divisive issues with Facebook political ads
Russian Manipulation Of US Elections: Facebook, Twitter And Google Asked To Testify

Together, those three accounts promoted 1,823 tweets in 2016 "that definitely or potentially targeted the USA market", Twitter said.

None of these accounts had been registered as advertisers, and all of them had already been or were immediately suspended, most for violating spam rules. Twitter notes RT bought $274,100 worth of USA ads on the platform.

Twitter officials on Thursday briefed USA congressional investigators probing how Russian-backed internet trolls, bots and targeted ads may have been used on the microblogging site to influence last year's election. The media organisation with strong links to the Russian government spent around $274,100 on U.S. ads in 2016, promoting news stories and targeting them at followers of mainstream media accounts.

Twitter informed congressional investigators that it checked its own database and found around 200 accounts tied to nefarious activities.

In addition to increased scrutiny from Congressional investigators, Facebook and Twitter are becoming a " red hot " focus of special prosecutor Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe. The company said its Vice President for Public Policy Colin Crowell met with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday. Twitter's investigation revealed an additional 179 related or linked accounts, which also may have played a role in meddling with the election. Mark Warner, ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, who found it "deeply disappointing", CBS News reports.

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