The so-called Russian influence via Twitter is even less consequential than it’s influence via Facebook. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Update: After having her advertising spend publicly disclosed earlier, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan has now fired back at Twitter with a snarky article saying she wasn’t aware that paying for advertising is now considered suspicious or harmful in a developed democracy such as the United States. She went on to say that she’s very excited to find out how much U.S. media outlets spend in the Russian segment of Twitter…you know, since advertising on social media in foreign countries now seems to be a criminal act.
“This is forcing us to go a step further and come clean that we also spent money on advertising at airports, in taxis, on billboards, on the Internet, on TV and radio. Even CNN ran our commercials,” Simonyan said. “By the way, similar campaigns are conducted by the American media in the Russian segment of Twitter. It’ll be very interesting to find out how much they spend on it, who they target and for what purpose.”
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Earlier today Twitter Vice President for Public Policy Colin Crowell met with staff from Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to discuss how Twitter may have been exploited by sneaky Russian operatives to sway the course of American history by undermining the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
Of course, upon reviewing Twitter’s press release on the topic, we can understand why Senator Warner described Twitter’s disclosures today as “deeply disappointing.” After spending months investigating, Twitter apparently was only able to find 201 accounts (out of roughly 68 million in the U.S., btw) linked to “potentially Russian related” users. Moreover, and undoubtedly adding to Warner’s frustration, Twitter further noted that not a single one of the 201 accounts “were registered as advertisers on Twitter.”
Of the roughly 450 accounts that Facebook recently shared as a part of their review, we concluded that 22 had corresponding accounts on Twitter. All of those identified accounts had already been or immediately were suspended from Twitter for breaking our rules, most for violating our prohibitions against spam.
In addition, from those accounts we found an additional 179 related or linked accounts, and took action on the ones we found in violation of our rules. Neither the original accounts shared by Facebook, nor the additional related accounts we identified, were registered as advertisers on Twitter.However, we continue to investigate these issues, and will take action on anything that violates our Terms of Service.