Twitter has published nearly 10 million tweets from 2013-2018 that it links to state-backed information operations in Russia and Iran. Twitter connected 3,800 of the 4,500 accounts and nine million of the tweets in the two datasets to the Internet Research Agency, the Russian “troll farm” that conducts online influence operations. The datasets include information such as the follower count, creation date, and user reported location for each account. An analysis of both datasets shows that the groups targeted polarized communities—Iran messaged such communities and Russia attempted to infiltrate them.
Compiling 10 Million Troll Tweets
Michael McLaughlin is a research assistant at the Center for Data Innovation. He researches and writes about a variety of issues related to information technology and Internet policy, including digital platforms, e-government, and artificial intelligence. Michael graduated from Wake Forest University, where he majored in Communication with Minors in Politics and International Affairs and Journalism. He received his Master’s in Communication at Stanford University, specializing in Data Journalism.
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