Twitter: 1.4M may have interacted with Russian influence accounts

Twitter: 1.4M may have interacted with Russian influence accounts
© Getty

Twitter says the number of users who may have interacted with Russian content intended to influence the election is now 1.4 million.

The company provided the updated figure, more than double the 650,000 users the company notified initially, on Wednesday.

The new figures include users who engaged with or followed Russian accounts, as well as people who don't receive Twitter emails and can't be notified that they were affected.

ADVERTISEMENT

As of Jan. 29, Twitter had notified around 650,000 people who had liked or retweeted content from Russian-linked accounts trying to influence the election.

Screenshots of the notifications that users received show that Twitter tells the recipient that they saw such content and explains the how they may have interacted with an account, but doesn’t show examples of Russian accounts or tweets.

The company's announcement that it expanded the number of people notified comes after criticism from prominent Democrats, including the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Schiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data MORE (Calif.), and Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTrump remarks deepen distrust with intelligence community Trump remarks deepen distrust with intelligence community US women's soccer team reignites equal pay push MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The two Democrats criticized Twitter earlier Wednesday, saying the company had not provided a complete response to their questions about a potential Russian bot campaign. Democrats believe Russian bots are pushing #ReleaseTheMemo, which is encouraging the release of a controversial GOP House Intelligence Committee memo allegedly detailing improper surveillance of Trump campaign associates.

“Although we are encouraged by your companies’ continued willingness to work with Congress to raise awareness about potential abuse of your platforms by agents of foreign influence, your replies have raised more questions than they have answered,” the two wrote.

The lawmakers cited data from the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance For Securing Democracy, which found that accounts it believes are linked to the Kremlin began pushing #ReleaseTheMemo tweets last week.