Russian Bot Trump Retweets Neared 500K During Campaign | News & Opinion

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Tweets from Hillary Clinton’s account received 47,846 retweets from Russian bots during the same time period, Twitter tells the Senate Judiciary Committee.


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In the month leading up to the 2016 Presidential election, Russian Twitter bots retweeted Donald Trump’s tweets hundreds of thousands of times, Twitter revealed in a note to Congress.

As was first reported by Bloomberg, Russian-linked automated Twitter accounts retweeted Trump’s tweets 469,537 times from Sept. 1 through Nov. 15, 2016, Twitter wrote in the document, which was published Friday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Tweets from Hillary Clinton’s account received 47,846 retweets from Russian bots during the same time period.

In the note, Twitter said it identified 50,258 Russian-linked accounts on the platform that generated “automated, election-related content.” Those accounts pumped out approximately 2.12 million election-related Tweets, which collectively received around 454.7 million impressions.

The company downplayed the impact of this activity, noting that those 2.12 million tweets “constituted approximately one percent of the overall election-related Tweets on Twitter at the time.”

Critics, however, say Twitter has not done enough. Sen. Mark Warner, ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, for example, said a September presentation Twitter gave to lawmakers was “inadequate on almost every level.”

Twitter earlier this month notified the more than 677,000 people in the US who liked, retweeted, or followed Russian-linked election-meddling accounts. Those accounts included @TEN_GOP, a Republican group in Tennessee that pushed pro-Donald Trump tweets, @Pamela_Moore13, a conservative personality, and @crystal1johnson, a black woman who was critical of US police. None of the accounts were real and Twitter has since suspended them.



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