Speed Reads

From Russia with Chaos

Study: Russia may have used Twitter more than Facebook to sway 2016 election

Facebook has disclosed that during the 2016 presidential race, Russians used fake pages and ads to sow discord and influence the election, but there is evidence that Twitter may have been used even more extensively during the Russian campaign, The New York Times reports.

Researchers at the bipartisan Alliance for Securing Democracy have been tracking 600 Twitter accounts they believe are tied to the Russian government or at the very least spread Russian propaganda, and of the news stories these accounts shared and promoted last week, more than 25 percent "had a primary theme of anti-Americanism," the Times reports. "What we see over and over again is that a lot of the messaging isn't about politics, a specific politician, or political parties," Laura Rosenberger, director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, said. "It's about creating societal division, identifying divisive issues, and fanning the flames."

For example, Twitter has suspended several accounts this week believed to be linked to Russia that pushed out messages both for and against football players kneeling during the national anthem, which was viewed as an attempt to divide Americans. On Thursday, Twitter employees will meet with staffers of the Senate and House intelligence committees as part of their investigations into Russian interference in the election, and a Senate aide told the Times that Twitter, Facebook, and Google have all been invited to testify at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Nov. 1 regarding Russian meddling. Read more about the Russia-Twitter connection at The New York Times.