Tumblr takes down 84 Russia-linked accounts

Tumblr takes down 84 Russia-linked accounts
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Tumblr said Friday it has taken down 84 accounts used by Russia to spread disinformation ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The social media platform said it discovered the accounts, which are linked to the Russian troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency, last fall and has since terminated the accounts.

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Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE last month indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities associated with the Internet Research Agency who are accused of orchestrating an elaborate plot to spread divisive messages to U.S. audiences on social media ahead of the election. The individuals face multiple charges, including identity theft and bank fraud.

Tumblr said in a statement Friday that it provided information on the 84 Russia-linked accounts from its investigation to the Justice Department.

Tumblr joins several other social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, that have identified and suspended accounts linked to Russia’s interference campaign.

Facebook disclosed last year that accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency purchased $100,000 in political advertisements on the platform before the election. 

“These accounts were being used as part of a disinformation campaign leading up to the 2016 U.S. election,” Tumblr said. “After uncovering the activity, we notified law enforcement, terminated the accounts, and deleted their original posts.” 

Tumblr said the Russia-linked accounts were solely focused on spreading disinformation by posting “organic content.” The company found no indication that the accounts purchased any advertisements.

The platform says it will notify any users who interacted with the accounts and provide them with a list of usernames they engaged with. Tumblr also disclosed that it will keep a public record of usernames linked to the Internet Research Agency or other state-sponsored disinformation efforts for the sake of transparency. 

Tumblr said it plans to counter disinformation going forward by “monitoring” the platform for propaganda, removing associated accounts and their posts, and notifying law enforcement.