Published: Sat, October 20, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Twitter Dumps Data on Tweets, Accounts Linked to Russian, Iran Ops

Twitter Dumps Data on Tweets, Accounts Linked to Russian, Iran Ops

Totalling over 360 gigabytes - including more than 10 million Tweets and more than 2 million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts?the data store provides a picture of how state-sponsored agencies have used the Twitter platform, technology news website Ars Technica reported on Friday.

The data set is made up of 3,841 accounts from the Russia-based Internet Research Agency, 770 accounts potentially from Iran.

Twitter added that the goal of the release was to make the data available for researchers and academics for investigation.

While Nimmo saw "no evidence to suggest that they triggered large-scale changes in political behavior, purely on the basis of their social media posts", the "operations show that American society was deeply vulnerable, not to all troll farm operations, but to troll accounts of a particular type".

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Twitter yesterday released a huge cache of pictures, videos and tweets related to "potentially state-backed information operations".

Twitter has published details of more than ten million tweets from thousands of Russian and Iranian trolls, revealing new insights into the extent of both countries' meddling in British and USA affairs.

The datasets can be downloaded on Twitter's Elections Integrity site.

At the beginning of 2018, Twitter revealed its findings into the 2016 U.S. presidential election and its effects on it, widely believed to have been a key player in the unexpected electing of Donald Trump. The army of fake accounts Tweeted out 1,102 posts with the hashtag #ReasonsToLeaveEU.

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"Russia's troll operation primarily targeted Russian speakers, while Iran's focused on pushing regime messaging overseas by promoting aligned websites". It follows on the heels of Facebook and Twitter confirming they had found hundreds of accounts, pages, and groups based in Iran trying to spread political content online in August.

From more than 4,500 accounts identified as linked to potential information operations, 3,841 come from Russian Federation and a further 770 are believed to be linked to Iran. It said over 9 million tweets in the archive came from the Russian troll accounts. Numerous accounts were created to look like they were run by real Americans.

The social media giant first disclosed the accounts earlier this year, when it suspended them.

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