Twitter’s Disinformation Data Dumps Are Helpfulto a Point

In October 2017, Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett faced difficult questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee about foreign interference in the 2016 election. Flanked by representatives from Facebook and Google, Edgett explained how Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) had systematically spread fake news and stoked partisan sentiment through a carefully coordinated, years-long social media campaign. A year later, Twitter released an archive of more than 10 million tweets, from 3,841 accounts it said were affiliated with the IRA, hoping to encourage “open research and investigation of these behaviors from researchers and academics.” The company has followed with additional data dumps, most recently last month when it released details of accounts linked to Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and the Catalan independence movement …

Alphabet-Owned Jigsaw Bought a Russian Troll Campaign as an Experiment

For more than two years, the notion of social media disinformation campaigns has conjured up images of Russia's Internet Research Agency, an entire company housed on multiple floors of a corporate building in St. Petersburg, concocting propaganda at the Kremlin's bidding. But a targeted troll campaign today can come much cheaper—as little as $250, says Andrew Gully, a research manager at Alphabet subsidiary Jigsaw. He knows because that's the price Jigsaw paid for one last year. As part of research into state-sponsored disinformation that it undertook in the spring of 2018, Jigsaw set out to test just how easily and cheaply social media disinformation campaigns, or "influence operations," could be bought in the shadier corners of the Russian-speaking web. In …

Muellers account of Trumps world acts as a cautionary tale for UK politics | Will Hutton

Senior figures in both countries behave as if they are above the law. Enough is enough Trump was right. His presidency was announced. Its tantamount to treasonous to work so closely with the Russian secret services during the campaign, with the Russians plainly hoping a Trump presidency would turn a blind eye to the subpoena by the House judicial committee for the full unredacted report is the first step. Democrat leaders may have misgivings about how impeachment will play out politically, but they have a constitutional and moral obligation to act against such a president with such a record. This behaviour sets new abysmal lows. Republican senators will almost certainly block the two-thirds majority needed to secure impeachment in the …