"Google is conducting a broad internal investigation to determine whether Russian-linked entities used its ads or services to try to manipulate voters ahead of the United States election", The Wall Street Journal reported late on Friday. (And not to mention the concerns about what would happen if our tweeter-in-chief had more words with which to threaten nuclear war.) On top of that, the platform had to face members of Congress for the suspected role that hundreds of accounts potentially played as part of Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Twitter noted that the 201 accounts were not properly registered as advertisers on the platform, and that it will continue its investigation into the matter and take action if it sees other accounts violating its terms of service. Unlike Facebook, Twitter allows both anonymous accounts and automated accounts, or bots, making it far more hard to police the service.
Google hasn't yet said whether it would accept an invitation this week from the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify publicly on November 1 about Russian interference.
"We have shared examples of the content of these removed tweets with congressional investigators".
The social media platform said this month it found 3,000 political ads that traced back to Russian Federation. Some $100,000 was spent on the Facebook ads. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, told reporters the response was inadequate and had mostly relied on data from Facebook, the AP reported.
The company's presentation to the Intelligence Committee "showed an enormous lack of understanding from the Twitter team of how serious this issue is", Warner said.
On Thursday, researchers at Oxford University published a study concluding that Twitter bots disseminated misinformation and propaganda at a higher rate in USA battleground states than in noncompetitive states during a 10-day period around Election Day in November.
A study released Thursday meanwhile found the campaign to spread "junk news" during the 2016 presidential election via Twitter appeared to target key states that were the most contested.
The last blow came when researchers at Oxford University found that Twitter users generally got more "misinformation, polarizing and conspiratorial content" than actual news stories. It is also believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an "influence campaign" to reduce the chances of Clinton's win. Twitter has suspended each one of those accounts.