CNET: US charges Russian social media trolls over election tampering

CNET: US charges Russian social media trolls over election tampering. “US special counsel Robert Mueller has filed charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups for allegedly interfering with the 2016 presidential election. In an indictment released Friday (PDF), Mueller and the Justice Department call out the Internet Research Agency, a group linked to Russian propaganda efforts across social media. Employees for the IRA created troll accounts and used bots to stage arguments and sow political chaos during the 2016 campaign.”

New York Times: To Stir Discord in 2016, Russians Turned Most Often to Facebook

New York Times: To Stir Discord in 2016, Russians Turned Most Often to Facebook. “In 2014, Russians working for a shadowy firm called the Internet Research Agency started gathering American followers in online groups focused on issues like religion and immigration. Around mid-2015, the Russians began buying digital ads to spread their messages. A year later, they tapped their followers to help organize political rallies across the United States. Their digital instrument of choice for all of these actions? Facebook and its photo-sharing site Instagram.”

Wired: Inside The Two Years That Shook Facebook—and The World

Wired: Inside The Two Years That Shook Facebook—and The World. “[Benjamin] Fearnow, a recent graduate of the Columbia Journalism School, worked in Facebook’s New York office on something called Trending Topics, a feed of popular news subjects that popped up when people opened Facebook. The feed was generated by an algorithm but moderated by a team of about 25 people with backgrounds in journalism. If the word ‘Trump’ was trending, as it often was, they used their news judgment to identify which bit of news about the candidate was most important. If The Onion or a hoax site published a spoof that went viral, they had to keep that out. If something like a mass shooting happened, and Facebook’s algorithm was slow to pick up on it, they would inject a story about it into the feed.”

Bloomberg: Twitter Says Russian Bots Retweeted Trump 470,000 Times

Bloomberg: Twitter Says Russian Bots Retweeted Trump 470,000 Times. “Russian-linked Twitter bots shared Donald Trump’s tweets almost half a million times during the final months of the 2016 election, Twitter Inc. said in a submission to Congress. The automated accounts retweeted the Republican candidate’s @realDonaldTrump posts almost 470,000 times, accounting for just more than 4 percent of the re-tweets he received from Sept. 1 to Nov. 15, 2016. Hillary Clinton’s account got less than 50,000 retweets by the Russian-linked automated accounts during the same period of time, the company said in documents posted Friday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Washington Post: Russians got tens of thousands of Americans to RSVP for their phony political events on Facebook

Washington Post: Russians got tens of thousands of Americans to RSVP for their phony political events on Facebook. “Russian operatives used Facebook to publicize 129 phony event announcements during the 2016 presidential campaign, drawing the attention of nearly 340,000 users — many of whom said they were planning to attend — according to a company document released by the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday.”

BetaNews: Twitter admits that 670,000 people interacted with Russian propaganda bots during US election

BetaNews: Twitter admits that 670,000 people interacted with Russian propaganda bots during US election . “Twitter has revealed that a total of 677,775 Americans followed accounts or liked tweets associated with Russian propaganda groups during the 2016 US election. The company does not reveal how many people saw the tweets posted by these accounts. That Russia tried to use Twitter — and other social networks — to influence the outcome of the US election is hardly news, but there has been an ongoing investigation trying to determine the scale of the operation. In its latest announcement, Twitter also says that it closed 50,258 accounts with links to Russia.”