Twitter on Wednesday released data on foreign influence campaigns on its platform showing some 10 million tweets, mostly from Russia, dating back as far as 2009.
California-based Twitter said it was releasing detailed data on previously disclosed misinformation efforts to allow researchers to gain more insight into the campaigns.
“In line with our strong principles of transparency and with the goal of improving understanding of foreign influence and information campaigns, we are releasing the full, comprehensive archives of the tweets and media that are connected with these two previously disclosed and potentially state-backed operations on our service,” said a statement from Twitter trust and safety chief Vijaya Gadde and site integrity head Yoel Roth.
“We are making this data available with the goal of encouraging open research and investigation of these behaviors from researchers and academics around the world.”
Twitter last year banned some Russia-based accounts accused of spreading misinformation during the 2016 US election, and earlier this year acknowledged that hundreds of accounts from Russia and Iran were engaged in manipulation efforts.
Facebook has uncovered similar efforts and has stepped up its efforts to curb foreign influence.
In Wednesday’s statement, Twitter said influence campaign efforts came from 3,841 accounts originating in Russia, and 770 potentially originating in Iran.
They included more than 10 million tweets and more than two million images and videos from as early as 2009.
“It is clear that information operations and coordinated inauthentic behavior will not cease,” Twitter said.
“These types of tactics have been around for far longer than Twitter has existed — they will adapt and change as the geopolitical terrain evolves worldwide and as new technologies emerge. For our part, we are committed to understanding how bad-faith actors use our services.”
Researchers at the Atlantic Council, who had early access to analyze the Twitter data, the influence campaigns sought to exploit vulnerabilities in a polarized electorate.
“The Russian and Iranian troll farm operations show that American society was deeply vulnerable, not to all troll farm operations, but to troll accounts of a particular type,” said a blog post from the group’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.
“That type hid behind carefully crafted personalities, produced original and engaging content, infiltrated activist and engaged communities, and posted in hyper-partisan, polarizing terms.”
Kevin Anderson, one of the top South African tennis player confirmed that he would be missing the crucial Davis cup match against Slovenia next a tie which is meant to ensure the SA’s qualification for the World group playoffs in the Euro-Africa Group One.
The South Africa team captian John-Laffnie de Jager revealed that anderson will be missing the tie in pursunace of his U.S. citizenship,Anderson ranked no.28 in the world said he is in the process of obtaining his green card and he cant leave the U.S. without a visa.
Anderson and two other important players for the Davis Cup tie South Africa no. 2 Rik De Voest and Fritz Wolmerans which is a big blow for the South African team as they are the very important players for the team to face Slovenia.
Disappointed team captain John-Laffnie de Jager stated that Anderson could have done his application earlier as he was already aware of the dates for the Davis Cup tie so that the issue of visa would not arise also knowing that he is a crucial member of the team and the it is important that a victory is recorded against Slovenia to qualify for the World Group playoffs for the fourth year in succession.
John-Laffnie de Jager who could not hide his disappointment also citing deliberate evasion wondered if Anderson’s visa would be ready for the ATP clay court season in Europe which will come on after the Davis Cup tie.
His presence would have seemingly given South Africa a clear advantage against Slovenia as he would have easily been the highest-ranked player in either team would also have been a major draw card after winning an ATP tournament in the US this year and establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with on the international circuit,De Jager said.
The team captain is upbeat on victory against Slovenia as other players ready to go and make South africa proud even though he admitted that the absence of Anderson,Wolmerans and De Voest is a setback for the whole team.