Twitter's 'Russia-Iran' troll tweet trove made public


In a post announcing the release of the data, which covers all the accounts and content associated with influence operations discovered since 2016, the company said: "We are making this data available with the goal of encouraging open research and investigation of these behaviors from researchers and academics around the world".

Totalling over 360 gigabytes - including more than 10 million Tweets and more than 2 million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts?the data store provides a picture of how state-sponsored agencies have used the Twitter platform, technology news website Ars Technica reported on Friday.

Twitter claims 3,841 of the accounts originate from Russia's Internet Research Agency, a "troll factory" based in St. Petersburg and linked to Russian intelligence.

Twitter on Wednesday released a database of over 10 million tweets said to be from troll accounts, of which nine million were from Russian Federation, reported The Verge.

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Russian and Iranian internet trolls sent more than 10 million Tweets in an effort to spread disinformation and discord in the West, including a day-long blitz on the day of the Brexit vote.

The datasets can be downloaded on Twitter's Elections Integrity site.

Elections 2018: Is misinformation killing democracy? The army of fake accounts Tweeted out 1,102 posts with the hashtag #ReasonsToLeaveEU.

"The Iranian operation was clumsy".

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Twitter had already made public the existence of tweets it believes to be the product of foreign misinformation campaigns, but the release of the tweets themselves on Wednesday will allow researchers to learn much more about Russian Federation and Iran's disinformation efforts on Twitter since 2016. "We must #TakeTheKnee", one troll account tweeted.

From more than 4,500 accounts identified as linked to potential information operations, 3,841 come from Russian Federation and a further 770 are believed to be linked to Iran. It is evident that Twitter's entire team can not possibly curate all the accounts and tweets, considering, many tweets get left out when users do not report them.

The tweets made public by Twitter either insult or praise certain election candidates, activists and other influential targets or topics with charged rhetoric.

"I think more transparency around this information is better than less transparency", Brookie said, "and that's not strictly limited to foreign influence operations or domestic advertising".

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