FB, Twitter asked to testify in probe

01 October, 2017, 00:10 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin

The Russia Today, now known as RT, spent at least $274,100 (approximately Rs 1.8 crore) in ads targeted at the U.S. audience in 2016, Twitter said.

One of the congressional committees investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election has invited the tech giants Facebook, Twitter and the parent company of Google to appear for a public hearing on November 1.

Twitter also says that it found about 200 accounts linked to Facebook accounts that Facebook had identified as being connected to Russian efforts to influence users.

Some of the tweets from these accounts promoted anti-Hillary Clinton stories, the CNN reports.

In its blog post, Twitter said it has been working on detecting and shutting down spam bots for years, and has many systems in place to do so: "On average, our automated systems catch more than 3.2 million suspicious accounts globally per week", the company said.

Twitter today "proactively" shared with Congress a "round-up of ads" that Russia's state-run TV network Russia Today (RT) targeted to US users in 2016. The Twitter's stance on long tweets for Trump comes even as the company now investigates how bots and Russia-linked Twitter profiles manipulated the service to affect the USA presidential polls a year ago.

The leaders of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said the panel would hold an open hearing with technology companies as part of its investigation.

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In addition to increased scrutiny from Congressional investigators, Facebook and Twitter are becoming a " red hot " focus of special prosecutor Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

The news follows similar disclosures from Facebook.

They have specifically been looking at Twitter and Facebook and their roles in the spread of misinformation and propaganda during the election.

It was Twitter's vice-president of public policy, Colin Crowell, who spoke before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on Thursday. Twitter also found another 179 related or linked accounts and took action on those that violated the rules.

Sen. Mark Warner, the Democratic ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Thursday criticized a presentation Twitter gave as "inadequate" and "deeply disappointing".

Moscow denies any such activity and Mr Trump has denied any talk of collusion.

Last week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that his social media company would also be handing over in information to Congress about accounts that were found on the site and believed to be used for advertising during the election.

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