Russian Federation used 200 accounts to spread propaganda

Twitter finds more Russian spooks with pro Trump accounts

Facebook declined to comment for the story, but Tuesday's report came amid growing suspicion that the Russian government attempted to influence USA politics using the social media platform.

The news comes after Facebook acknowledged foreign entities linked to Russian Federation paid to promote political messages on the leading social network, potentially violating United States election laws, AFP reported.

Executives from Twitter, along with Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google were asked to appear at a public hearing before the Senate committee November 1, while the House panel requested them next month, according to aides from both committees.

Some of the tweets from these accounts promoted anti-Hillary Clinton stories, the CNN reports. All of those accounts, Twitter said, had been or were soon banned, usually for violating spam rules. And while there is no silver bullet, Twitter's improved detection systems now catch 3.2 million suspicious accounts globally per week.

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"Twitter deeply respects the integrity of the election process, which is a cornerstone for all democracies", the company said.

In a blog post, Twitter noted, "Due to the nature of these inquiries, we may not always be able to publicly share what we discuss with investigators".

Twitter representatives will appear at a hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, a person familiar with the matter told Business Insider.

Twitter is taking a hint from Facebook and handing over information to Congress about accounts that may have been used for malicious purposes or for misinformation around the 2016 Presidential elections. The ads, believed to have interfered in the elections, were shared by Twitter Vice President for Public Policy Colin Crowell with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

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"Neither the original accounts shared by Facebook, nor the additional related accounts we identified, were registered as advertisers on Twitter", the company said.

The Twitter post also said that company representatives told the committees that Russia Today, a news service that's been criticized as a propaganda tool of the Kremlin, spent more than $274,000 on advertising past year.

Social media companies like Twitter and Facebook have faced increased scrutiny around how they handle bots and the potential that their platforms were used to sow disruption during 2016.

Moscow denies any such activity, and Trump dismissed any talk of such collusion. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence panel, said Wednesday that he hopes Twitter will be forthcoming.

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