TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -Twitter bots allegedly linked to Russia shared Donald Trump’s tweets almost half a million times during the final months of the 2016 US presidential election, the Twitter social networking service said in a report to Congress.
The bot software re-tweeted the Twitter posts of then Republican candidate almost 470,000 times, accounting for more than 4 percent of the re-tweets he received from September 1 to November 15, the company said in documents posted Friday by the US Senate Judiciary.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s account got less than 50,000 re-tweets by the Russian-linked automated accounts during the same period of time, Bloomberg News reported, citing the documents.
The documents are Twitter’s response to follow-up questions from the Senate committee following an October 31 hearing on the issue of alleged Russian hacking of social media platforms.
Congress has been investigating how social networking services like Twitter, Facebook, and Alphabet YouTube were manipulated during the election.
Twitter also said that during the same period, it identified about 2.12 million automated, election-related tweets from accounts allegedly linked to the Russian government.
“The new disclosures from Twitter demonstrate how Russian meddlers are complementing their networks of bots with human activity, which the company said makes it harder for Twitter’s algorithms to detect the difference,” Bloomberg said.
US intelligence agencies claim Russia-linked hackers provided WikiLeaks with damaging information -- in the form of thousands of hacked emails -- about Clinton to skew the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump.
Trump has repeatedly denied allegations that his campaign colluded with Russians and has condemned the investigations. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also denied the allegations.