Hundreds of Russian propaganda videos left up for months by Twitter: report

Hundreds of Russian propaganda videos left up for months by Twitter: report
© Getty Images

Hundreds of videos produced by Russia's Internet Research Agency were left online on Twitter's Vine app for months after the company should have known they were produced by the Kremlin-backed "troll farm," CNN reported Thursday.

The videos, which CNN reported reached millions of views before being taken down Wednesday, were hosted on accounts named "@GUNS4LIFE_ME and @PoliceStateMe," two accounts linked to suspended Twitter profiles that were taken down as part of one of the company's anti-Russian bot purges.

Despite the Twitter accounts' suspensions last fall, the associated Vine accounts remained active for months with hundreds of videos on each account that recorded anti-gun control messages and videos of police misconduct.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We have suspended all known Vine accounts we were able to connect with Twitter accounts previously suspended and linked to the IRA," the company said in a statement.

Twitter suspended 1,062 accounts in January as part of an effort to remove bots from its platform, bringing the total number of removed accounts past 50,000 since the company began the effort last year.

The company's representatives were questioned about Russian influence during a hearing with the Senate Commerce Committee last month.

“Based on results, you’re not where you need to be for us to be reassured that you’re securing our democracy,” Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzDemocrats call for restraint, oversight as Trump reportedly calls back Iranian strike Democrats mark World Refugee Day Nonpartisan Jewish group tells Ocasio-Cortez to avoid Holocaust comparisons MORE (D-Hawaii) said during the hearing. “How can we know that you’re going to get this right before the midterms?”

Twitter declined to comment to CNN on Wednesday whether the company would turn over suspected Russian accounts on its Vine app to Congress. In January, the company missed a deadline to turn over with more information on Russia's election meddling to the Senate Intelligence Committee, prompting ire from lawmakers.

“I’m disappointed. I’ve been disappointed throughout this,” Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBipartisan senators to introduce bill forcing online platforms to disclose value of user data GOP senators divided over approach to election security Hillicon Valley: House lawmakers reach deal on robocall bill | Laid-off journalists launch ads targeting tech giants | Apple seeks tariff exemptions | Facebook's Libra invites scrutiny MORE (D-Va.) told reporters. “Twitter has been often times the slowest to respond. Most of their work was derivative to the Facebook work. The other companies met the deadline which was way over a month from when they testified.”