On April 1, the government of Russia announced that it would begin blocking Twitter within its borders, citing the need to protect its citizens from “fake news” and other potentially harmful content. The Russian government also cited the need to protect its citizens from other potentially harmful content. Several Russians took to twitter to voice their displeasure with the ruling, which was harshly criticized by those who advocate for the right to freely express oneself.
April Twitterrodionovreuters for Russia
On April 1, users of the Russian social media platform Twitter were taken aback when a new law enforcement officer with the handle “Twitterrodionov” appeared on their feeds. This new “policeman” said that he was putting an end to “trolling” and “fake news,” and to further substantiate his position as an authority figure, he even had a badge and an emoji of the Russian flag next to his name.
Nevertheless, it has come to light that Twitterrodionov was really a clever prank played on April 1st by the Russian news organization Reuters. This was accomplished by inserting an image of a law enforcement officer and amending the bio to read: “I monitor trolls and broadcast the truth on Twitter.” Send me a private message if you discover anything fishy.
The joke was immediately taken up by sources in Russian media; some even reported that the new Twitter officer would be imposing “trolling fines” of up to 3,000 rubles, which is equivalent to around $50 in US currency.
Although some individuals on Twitter found the prank to be humorous, others were not nearly as delighted by it. One user, @naval, even made the connection between the joke and the “Orwellian” reality of life in Russia, which has a government that is infamous for stifling dissent and free speech.
Yet, regardless of whether you found the joke funny or not, Twitterrodionov was a clever way to bring attention to the increasing tight control that the Russian government is exerting over the internet and social media.
Russia influencing the US election by using Twitter
The United States intelligence community has arrived at the judgment that the Russian government used social media in order to impact the presidential election in 2016 in favor of Donald Trump.
Twitter is one of the primary platforms that the Russian government use in order to disseminate its propaganda. It was discovered that the Internet Research Agency (IRA), an organization with ties to the Russian government, had created thousands of fictitious Twitter accounts in order to spread false information and sow discord during the election.
It’s crucial to note that the Internet Research Agency (IRA) didn’t only create fake accounts; they also purchased advertisements on Twitter. In point of fact, Twitter has acknowledged that throughout the election period, it sold adverts to the IRA for a total of $274,100.
Even while it is hard to determine the exact extent of its effect, there is little question that the social media operation run by the Russian government had some bearing on the outcome of the election. As a result of the fact that Twitter is one of the social media platforms that is used by the most people all over the globe, it is quite likely that the Russian government will continue to utilize Twitter in the future to spread its propaganda.
How Russia inflamed rifts in the US through Twitter
It has been determined by the intelligence community in the United States that Russia interfered in the presidential election of 2016 with the purpose of stoking divisions within the nation. One of the ways in which they accomplished their goal was by using Twitter to spread false information and stir up conflict.
In April of 2018, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that Russia has been using Twitter to exacerbate tensions in the United States.
According to the article, Russia’s goal was to “amplify political turmoil in the United States.”
In order to accomplish this goal, Russia fabricated Twitter profiles in the names of prominent US politicians and organizations. Following that, they made use of these identities to tweet messages that targeted to a variety of different political audiences.
A number of the messages had the purpose of driving a wedge between the American people. In other cases, the purpose of these actions was to undermine people’s faith in American institutions such as the government or the media.
According to The Journal, Russia’s Twitter effort was “extremely successful,” and it managed to reach “tens of millions” of people in the United States.
The findings of the Journal are confirmed by a study that was compiled by the intelligence community of the United States. This investigation came to the conclusion that Russia interfered in the election of 2016 with the purpose of sparking discord within the nation.
The conclusions of the intelligence community suggest that Russia used social media in order to “amplify tension” in the United States. [Citation needed]
Twitter has said that it is actively working to combat the spread of false information on its platform. Twitter said in September 2018 that 2,752 accounts tied to Russia’s Internet Research Agency had been terminated as a result of the investigation.
Even while Twitter’s actions are a step in the right direction, it is abundantly clear that further steps are required to prevent Russia from exploiting social media to foment divisiveness in the United States.
The reason Twitter let Russia off the hook
Twitter has been criticized for enabling interference from Russia in the presidential election in the United States in 2016. Opponents of the social media website claim that it did not go far enough to prevent Russian hackers from using it to spread fake information and incite unrest.
Twitter has justified its conduct by stating that it has taken efforts to prohibit foreign intervention in elections and that it is continually improving its security. Twitter’s defense is based on the fact that Twitter has claimed that it is always improving its security.
But, there are other analysts who believe that Russia was able to get away with its involvement because Twitter was covert about the safeguards it had in place.
What must happen to prevent Russia from meddling in elections on Twitter?
According to the assessments made by the United States intelligence community, Russia interfered in the presidential election that took place in 2016 in an attempt to help Donald Trump win. Twitter has become a key center for Russian propaganda and disinformation, despite the fact that the Kremlin has denied any influence in the platform’s rise to prominence.
As a direct response to the results of the election in 2016, Twitter has begun to tighten down on certain behaviors and accounts that are associated with Russia. Nevertheless, a great deal more work has to be done in order to prevent Russia or any other government from using Twitter in the future to interfere in elections.
Twitter’s content filtering has a lot of room for improvement, especially when it comes to sensitive topics like foreign interference in elections.