It’s not just Facebook who is suffering from fake news woes; even Twitter has earned its shared of criticism for one of 2017’s biggest controversies. While the companies have acted in their own ways to clamp down on the spread of Russian propaganda, it’s becoming increasingly clear that it will be hard to eliminate it completely.
Propaganda Videos Galore!
According to a recent CNN report, it has now been discovered that hundreds of Russian-linked propaganda videos were accessible on Twitter’s now-shuttered Vine video app up until Wednesday this week. All these videos were hosted by accounts, @GUNS4LIFE_ME and @PoliceStateMe and had attracted millions of views.
On digging deeper, it was found that both of the accounts were linked to Russia’s IRA (Internet Research Agency) and Kremlin-based troll groups. These accounts hosted thousand of followers and around 600+ looping videos, showing incidents of alleged police misconduct and misuse of gun laws across the United States.
Russian Account Begone!
Twitter, as it had reported earlier, had removed the two aforementioned accounts from its platform as part of their Russian bot purge. It suspended more than 1000 Twitter accounts earlier in January, making the total jump past 50,000, but has now acted on CNN’s reports to purge several Vine accounts related to Russian agencies.
In an official statement, a Twitter representative commented that the company is working constantly to discover and prevent the spread of Russian propaganda videos. For the said situation, it was added that,
We have suspended all known Vine accounts we were able to connect with Twitter accounts previously suspended and linked to the IRA.
While the company is tirelessly pushing its limits to eliminate the reach of all Russian content, the U.S Congress is not satisfied with its efforts. They are worried about consequences of the Russian content on the upcoming midterm elections.
This is, however, a genuine concern for the American government as President Donald Trump was previously alleged to have colluded with the Russians to rig the elections in 2016. The waves of controversy since Trump took office has put greater pressure on technology giants to take instant action against fake accounts and content.