Twitter to give analysis of Russian activity to Congress

Twitter to give analysis of Russian activity to Congress
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The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Twitter plans to give Congress an analysis of Russian activity on its social media platform.

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program The Hill interview — DNC chief: I came here to win elections Virginia's governor race: What to watch for MORE (D-Va.) told reporters the report from Twitter will be similar to one Facebook provided to congressional investigators on Wednesday.

In Facebook’s report, the company said fake accounts linked to a pro-Kremlin group in Russia had purchased $100,000 in political ads during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Twitter declined to comment on the matter to The Hill.

Warner said he expects the revelations in Facebook's analysis to be the first of many and criticized the company for not acting sooner.

"I think we may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg. They had a fairly narrow search. I've been raising this issue for months. They have dismissed this issue for months," he said, according to a transcript from his office.

The fake accounts were linked to a company called the Internet Research Agency, a "troll farm" that uses social media operations to promote Kremlin propaganda, The Washington Post reported.

Warner didn't specify exactly what ads Facebook had turned over, saying that only staff had seen them. He said he wanted the public to see the ads as well. 

A number of congressional probes are looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election cycle.

In a statement confirming the Post’s story, Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos said that a quarter of the ads in question were geographically targeted and that more had run in 2015 than in 2016.

“One question that has emerged is whether there’s a connection between the Russian efforts and ads purchased on Facebook,” Stamos wrote. “These are serious claims and we’ve been reviewing a range of activity on our platform to help understand what happened.”

This story was updated at 12:52 p.m.