Washington Post: AP Exclusive: Russia Twitter trolls deflected Trump bad news. “Disguised Russian agents on Twitter rushed to deflect scandalous news about Donald Trump just before last year’s presidential election while straining to refocus criticism on the mainstream media and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, according to an Associated Press analysis of since-deleted accounts. Tweets by Russia-backed accounts such as ‘America_1st_’ and ‘BatonRougeVoice’ on Oct. 7, 2016, actively pivoted away from news of an audio recording in which Trump made crude comments about groping women, and instead touted damaging emails hacked from Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta.”
The Daily Beast: Exclusive: Russia Activated Twitter Sleeper Cells for 2016 Election Day Blitz. “The Daily Beast analyzed a dataset of 6.5 million tweets containing election keywords like ‘Hillary’ and ‘Trump’ that was collected over 33 hours last Nov. 7-9 by Baltimore-based data scientist Chris Albon. The data are not comprehensive—only tweets with one of the keywords were collected, and limitations in Twitter’s API prevent a full capture even of those. But they represent a significant sampling of Election Day Twitter.”
Wall Street Journal: Russian Twitter Support for Trump Began Right After He Started Campaign. “Kremlin-backed support for Donald Trump’s candidacy over social media began much earlier than previously known, a new analysis of Twitter data shows. Russian Twitter accounts posing as Americans began lavishing praise on Mr. Trump and attacking his rivals within weeks after he announced his bid for the presidency in June 2015, according to the analysis by The Wall Street Journal.”
Recode: The Washington Post, Miami Herald, InfoWars and other U.S. sites spread Russian propaganda from Twitter. “The tweet that opened a story in the Washington Post on Feb. 11, 2016 seemed innocuous: It was an attempt to illustrate Syrian territory occupied by clashing government and ISIS forces. Problem is, the account behind that tweet — @WarfareWW — was one of 2,752 Twitter trolls identified this week as tied to the Russian government and suspended for spreading disinformation.”
LA Times: Lawmakers slam social media giants for failing to block Russian ads and posts during 2016 campaign. “Members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, which held separate hearings Wednesday, leveled blistering criticism at Facebook, Twitter and Google for failing to act aggressively to block Russian use of their social media platforms to sow division before and after last year’s presidential election. Although most of the Russian ads and posts focused on social issues, some specifically aimed to help Trump and damage his rival, Hillary Clinton. Some urged viewers to attend Trump political rallies, or falsely claimed voters could cast ballots on Twitter. Some of the phony ads received tens of thousands of clicks.”
Slate: How Russia Used Instagram to Influence the 2016 Election. “It’s been a couple months since Facebook confirmed that fake accounts likely originating in Russia bought ads on the platform to sow discord during the 2016 presidential campaign. On Friday, the company revealed that its subsidiary Instagram was also used in an attempt to influence the election. And on Wednesday, as officials from Facebook, Google, and Twitter testified before Congress, House Democrats released examples of the Instagram posts in question.”
BuzzFeed: Twitter Offered Russian TV Network 15% Of Its Total Share Of US Elections Advertising. “Twitter wanted RT to spend big ahead of the 2016 US election, offering a significant portion of its election-related ad inventory in return. The social media company offered the Russian state–owned television network up to a 15% share of voice (‘SOV’) on US election advertising — or the percent of all ads run on that topic — for $3 million.” My jaw, it is on the floor.