Twitter releases data on Iranian, Russian influence campaigns

Twitter releases data on Iranian, Russian influence campaigns

Twitter is releasing an archive of all of the content it has discovered from Russian and Iranian disinformation campaigns since 2016.

The company announced Wednesday that the release of the datasets is intended to allow researchers to analyze how the state-backed efforts sought to sow discord among U.S. voters.

“Independent analysis of this activity by researchers is a key step toward promoting shared understanding of these threats,” Twitter wrote in a blog post. “To support this effort, we have provided early access to a small group of researchers with specific expertise in these issues.

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“Working with law enforcement and the authorities will always be our first priority, but we strongly believe that this level of transparency can enhance the health of the public conversation on the internet.”

The dataset includes content from 3,841 accounts affiliated with the Internet Research Agency — a Russian troll farm suspected of trying to help President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE’s campaign ahead of the 2016 election. It also includes 770 accounts suspected of originating in Iran.

Twitter, Facebook and Google announced in August that they had discovered networks of Iranian-backed accounts aimed at disrupting elections and spreading disinformation. The companies ended up suspending hundreds of fraudulent accounts involved in the effort.

Twitter on Wednesday said it would continue to release data from the campaigns as it discovers it.