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Twitter may notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during 2016 election

Carlos Monje, director of Twitter's North America Public Policy and Philanthropy, speaks during a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee on Capitol Hill on January 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. (AFP / Brendan Smialowski)
WASHINGTON: Twitter may notify users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service, a company executive told US lawmakers on Wednesday.
The social media company is “working to identify and inform individually” its users who saw tweets during the 2016 US presidential election produced by accounts tied to the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Army, Carlos Monje, Twitter’s director of public policy, told the US Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
A Twitter spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about plans to notify its users.
Facebook Inc. in December created a portal where its users could learn whether they interacted with accounts created by the Internet Research Agency.
Both companies and Alphabet’s YouTube appeared before the Senate committee on Wednesday to answer lawmaker questions about how their efforts to combat the use of their platforms by violent extremists, such as the Daesh (Islamic State).
But the hearing often turned its focus to questions of Russian propaganda, a vexing issue for Internet firms who spent most of the past year responding to a backlash that they did too little to deter Russians from using their services to anonymously spread divisive messages among Americans in the run-up to the 2016 US elections.
US intelligence agencies concluded Russia sought to interfere in the election through a variety of cyber-enabled means to sow political discord and help President Donald Trump win. Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations.

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