- Rebecca Cook/Reuters
- Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey asked to provide evidence of Russia’s use of fake Twitter accounts in order to influence British politics. Parliament’s ‘Fake News’ inquiry turns its attention to Russia’s suspected use of Twitter bots. Recent study found thousands of suspect accounts tweeted during the Brexit campaign, only to disappear afterwards.
LONDON – Twitter has been asked by the UK parliament to provide evidence of Russian Twitter bots attempting to interfere in British politics.
Damian Collins MP, the Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, wrote to the head of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday, as part of parliament’s investigation into “Fake News” and the possible role of Russian-linked accounts in UK politics.
In the letter, Collins cites evidence Dorsey provided to the Senate into the possible role of Russia-linked accounts in interfering in US democracy and asks the Twitter CEO to provide similar information relating to UK politics.
The letter follows a similar recent request to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
A recent study found evidence that thousands of Twitter bots had tweeted on the Brexit referendum, only to vanish shortly after the vote.
“Putin’s agents tried to influence the U.S. election,” the EU parliament’s brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt tweeted this week.
“We need to know if they interfered in the #Brexit vote too.”
In his letter today, Collins asks Dorsey to produce a list of accounts “linked to the Internet Research Agency and any other Russian linked accounts that it [Twitter] has removed and examples of any posts from these accounts that are linked to the United Kingdom.”
The Conservative MP for Folkestone has asked Dorsey to provide evidence to the Committee by the end of November.
Here is the letter:
- Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
MPs in Britain including Labour’s Ben Bradshaw and Chris Bryant have been putting pressure on the government to step up its efforts in investigating what role if any Russia has played in influencing British politics, including last year’s EU referendum.
The UK Electoral Commission has opened an investigation into UKIP donor Arron Banks over his donations during the EU referendum last year amid allegations that some of the money he donated to Leave.EU originated from Russia.