Twitter notified 1.4 million users who interacted with Russian-linked accounts

Twitter notified 1.4 million people in the United States who interacted with accounts connected to the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency during the 2016 presidential election.

The tech firm initially said it would be alerting 677,775 U.S. users, but on Wednesday it expanded that number.

“Our notice efforts are focused on certain types of interactions, and they will not encompass every person that ever saw this content,” Twitter said in a blog post.

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The company has been under pressure by U.S. lawmakers to alert its users if they were potentially exposed to Russian propaganda. Russian officials denied meddling in the 2016 presidential election, but social media companies discovered Russian-linked accounts that posted divisive content during the 2016 election season.

Twitter notified users who followed, retweeted, quoted, replied to, mentioned, or liked content from 3,814 Russian-linked accounts. The company also said it also e-mailed people who opted out of receiving most email updates, which expanded the number of notifications it sent out.

Some Twitter users who received a notification from the company didn’t find the information extremely helpful. Others questioned whether the company was trying to silence conservatives.

Twitter, which has 330 million monthly active users worldwide, said it’s surveying a small group of people to get feedback about the notifications.

“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 company said in the blog post.

Photo: The Twitter building on Dec. 14, 2015, in San Francisco. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)


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