Twitter said Friday it’s notifying 677,775 people in the U.S. who either followed, retweeted or liked a tweet from accounts of the Kremlin-linked troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency during the 2016 election period.
The company also said that since briefing Congress in November, it’s identified an additional 13,512 Russian-linked bot accounts that tweeted around the election, bringing the total to 50,258.
“Any such activity represents a challenge to democratic societies everywhere, and we’re committed to working on this important issue,” Twitter wrote in a blog post. The company said it will share the account handles with congressional investigators looking at Russian interference in the election.
Twitter offered several examples of Internet Research Agency content, including tweets with pro-Donald Trump images and slogans.
Friday’s disclosure — 14 months after the 2016 election — is the latest sign that social media companies are still coming to grips with the extent of Russian activity on their platforms during the campaign.
Intelligence experts, congressional investigators and others have concluded that Russian elements exploited Twitter and Facebook to distribute propaganda and misinformation during the 2016 campaign — much of it focused on damaging the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
Twitter on Friday also laid out its plans for the 2018 midterm elections, including verifying major party candidates, communicating with federal and state election officials, applying anti-spam technology against “networks of malicious automation targeting election-related matters,” and monitoring trends and spikes in conversation for “potential manipulation activity.”
Facebook unveiled a portal last month to allow users to learn of any Facebook or Instagram contact they may have had with Russian internet trolls between January 2015 and August 2017. Facebook has said that Russian-linked posts were viewed by up to 126 million people during that period.