Twitter deleted data potentially important to Russia probe: report

Twitter deleted data potentially important to Russia probe: report
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Twitter reportedly deleted tweets and other crucial user data that federal investigators may have been able to use in their investigation of potential Russia interference in the 2016 presidential election, current and former cybersecurity officials told Politico on Friday.

The officials, who spoke anonymously, told the news outlet that they believe Twitter was one of the Kremlin’s most important tools in its attempt to influence the election.

Russian actors utilized bots, fake users, Twitter campaigns and exaggerated or fake stories to try to sway Americans, the officials said.

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They believe that by analyzing such information on Twitter it would be possible to establish a “pattern of life behavior” of Russian operations on social media that would shed light on how actors “were trying to nudge the narrative in a certain direction.”

Much of this information is no longer available, according to the officials.

Twitter’s privacy policy is to completely delete tweets from their system after a user does so. The same goes for accounts and paid promotions deleted by users. Companies that pay for access to Twitter’s data are required to do the same.

“The truth is they don’t know who is on their platform, or how bad people are doing bad things," former FBI agent Clint Watts told Politico.