Twitter Releases Full Tweet Archive From Russian, Iranian Trolls

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Twitter released massive datasets today of all accounts and content determined to be related to influence operations conducted on the social media platform since 2016.

The micro-blogging company said in its post, "They include more than 10 million tweets and more than two million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts, including the earliest Twitter activity from accounts connected with these campaigns, dating back to 2009...."

In line with our principles of transparency and to improve public understanding of alleged foreign influence campaigns, Twitter is making publicly available archives of Tweets and media that we believe resulted from potentially state-backed information operations on our service.

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.

Twitter said it is committed to "understanding how bad-faith actors use our services", but also acknowledged that independent research will help its own team.

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Twitter has taken increasing steps to generate public goodwill over its perceived connection to Russian attempts to sway the 2016 election and its role in the spread of fake news.

It says the tweets from the two troll operations had the most pick-up within the U.S. but much less influence on public debate elsewhere. "The Russian operation's subsequent use of English-language posting showed how a capability designed for domestic influence could be turned overseas".

On the day of the Brexit vote, they tweeted posts with the hashtag ReasonsToLeaveEU more than 1,000 times.

The Russian trolls farms "tried to inflame everybody, regardless of race, creed, politics, or sexual orientation" and often "pushed both sides of divisive issues".

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