Twitter publishes tweet archive of Russian and Iranian state-run troll farms

Twitter

10m tweets by Russian and Iranian trolls released

To that end, Twitter on Wednesday announced it would make available roughly 10 million tweets and 2 million images, live video and other content that had been created by the Iranian accounts and thousands of other, widely reported online trolls that previously had been tied to Russian Federation. In the months that followed his victory, reports emerged that teams of dedicated operatives in Russian Federation and Iran worked to stir up hatred and division on the social media platform to encourage a Trump victory.

The company also released data on accounts from Iran that also targeted Americans.

Since the 2016 United States election meddling went under the nose of Twitter, the company has become very diligent towards catching any troll accounts.

Downloads! The Russian set is 1.24GB of tweets, with almost 300GB of media.

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The company said they were releasing "substantially more information" about the foreign interference operations "to enable independent academic research and investigation". "The second point is that these operations started out for the benefit of the countries they were working in", said Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow at the DFRLab.

The Iranian campaign, they said, appeared to have been more focused on spreading its own government's messages via links to sympathetic websites.

California-based Twitter said it was releasing detailed data on previously disclosed misinformation efforts to allow researchers to gain more insight into the campaigns. On the day before the incident, accounts linked to Russia's troll factory posted a total of 19,000 times. "It tried to use social media to draw people towards pro-regime messaging sites", said Nimmo, whose lab published a detailed analysis of the tweets on Wednesday. Twitter and Facebook have come under increasing pressure to counter the spread of inauthentic accounts on their platforms, including those linked to foreign state-sponsored actors.

Researchers were able to glean that the IRA posted far more in Russian than in English, especially in late 2014 until early 2015, when Russia was fighting in Ukraine, according to analysis conducted by the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab.

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