Almost half of Russian-language Twitter accounts tweeting about politics were pro-Kremlin bots in a newly released study.
The Washington Post cited a study that looked at 1.3 million tweets between 2014 and 2015 and found 45 percent of them were automated bots set up to support the Kremlin.
The study was conducted by the Computational Propaganda Research Project, part of the Oxford Internet Institute. It examined tweets from the Russian version of Twitter in China, Russia, Poland, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Ukraine, Taiwan, and the United States.
Philip Howard, the principal investigator of the study, told the Post he came up with the research idea when he noticed an increase in Russian bot activity after a passenger airliner was shot down over Ukraine in 2014.
The U.S. intelligence community concluded Russia tried to influence the U.S. presidential election last year through various channels, including social media and the spreading of fake news stories.
A report last week, meanwhile, claimed Russian agents posed as attractive women on Facebook in order to collect intelligence on members of the U.S. military.
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