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Twitter Finds More Than 200 Russia Linked Accounts

Twitter Finds More Than 200 Russia Linked Accounts

"I don't think we've more than scratched the surface in terms of our understanding of how the Russians may have used [the Twitter] platform", said Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

The three companies are facing intense scrutiny from U.S. House and Senate intelligence panels as investigators focus on social media's role in Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Twitter said that of the more than 400 accounts found through Facebook's review, Twitter found 22 corresponding accounts on its own site.

It said the identified Twitter accounts were suspended mostly for breaking Twitter's rules against spam - that is, flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message or links.

"Neither the original accounts shared by Facebook, nor the additional related accounts we identified, were registered as advertisers on Twitter", the company said.

Twitter allows users to register anonymously and has more public accounts than Facebook.

The House panel's statement said it was seeking "to better understand how Russian Federation used online tools and platforms to sow discord in and influence our election".

The statement added that Russia Today, which was named in January in a U.S. intelligence report on election interference, spent at least $274,100 in 2016 for 1,823 tweet ads or "promotions" which "definitely or potentially targeted the USA market".

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Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., called the Twitter presentation before the committees "deeply disappointing".

"Their response was, frankly, inadequate on nearly every level", Warner said, according to Reuters.

The micro-blogging site, which also identified Russia Today of buying ads targeted at American users' accounts, said that it would cooperate with congressional committees with respect to investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 United States election.

Twitter, along with Facebook and Google, was asked to testify before the US Senate Intelligence Committee in the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

The hearing, scheduled for November 1, follows Facebook's disclosure that it had sold about $100,000 in ads to Russian troll farms connected to about 470 inauthentic accounts. Twenty-two of the accounts had presences on both social networks.

Twitter executives told Congressional investigators about the findings on Thursday and posted details in a blog on the company's website.

The Senate and House intelligence committees are trying to understand the degree to which Russian Federation and groups allied with the Kremlin may have used such platforms to spread fake news stories and misinformation - and what the companies could have done to stem such attacks.

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