The Kremlin's principal international propaganda outlet RT (formerly Russia Today), spent $274,100 in U.S. ads in 2016, with related accounts promoting 1,823 tweets that "definitely or potentially targeted the U.S. market," Twitter said today in a lengthy blog post. The post came after a meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee leaders about how Russian actors used the platform to influence media coverage of the 2016 election. The campaigns were directed at followers of mainstream media outlets.
Why it matters: Twitter users played a major role in the dissemination of fake news stories and other misinformation during the 2016 election, an Oxford study found, and lawmakers are frustrated that Russian actors used major U.S. tech platforms to attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential election. Facebook has already handed over ads that it discovered were purchased by Russian actors, and now Twitter is having to disclose the extent to which Russia-linked accounts used the platform.