Twitter has expanded the number of people it says engaged with Russian-linked accounts during the US presidential election period to around 1.4m, more than double the original 677,775 people it previously said had done so.
These 1.4m people are made up of those in the US who retweeted, quoted, replied to, mentioned, or liked anything from accounts linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA), and those who were actively following one of the IRA counts at the time of their suspension. All of the 1.4m users, even if they have opted out of receiving email updates from Twitter, have received a notification from the microblogging site to let them know they interacted with one of the fake accounts in some way.
“We have expanded the number of people notified about interactions with Twitter accounts potentially connected to a propaganda effort by a Russian government-linked organization known as the Internet Research Agency,” said Twitter. “Our notice efforts are focused on certain types of interactions, and they will not encompass every person that ever saw this content. Our goal in providing these notifications is to advance public awareness of and engagement with the important issues raised in our blog post, and provide greater transparency to our account holders and the public.”
The social media platform recently revealed that it has identified there were 50,258 automated accounts linked with Russia at the time of the election period – while a total of 3,814 accounts, which sent 175,993 tweets between them, came from the IRA.