Home Security Twitter says just six Brexit tweets linked to Russian bodies

Twitter says just six Brexit tweets linked to Russian bodies

The British Government has rounded on Twitter for revealing that the Russian-linked entities, in this case the broadcasting service RT, spent only a little over £1000 for advertising on the referendum, called in June last year to decide whether the UK should continue to remain a part of the European Union.

RT said Twitter had found “minimal involvement” by Russia in the referendum, with just six paid ads that were put out as tweets, all sent by RT itself, that could be judged as trying to influence the outcome.

In keeping with the sentiment in many other countries, primarily the US, where Russia has been blamed for events that affected them negatively, the UK Government had claimed that Russia had had an influence on the outcome of the referendum which voted to leave the EU.

The British Government is inquiring into allegations that Russian-linked entities tried to influence the Brexit vote.

RT took a dig at the UK for slamming Twitter's response as “completely inadequate”.

brexit big

“Not to fear, dear Tories. In the spirit of transparency, we’ve compiled all the tweets Twitter was talking about – so you don’t have to,” it said.

The first tweet, on June 22, said: “#Brexit: EU in or EU out? Together or apart? Follow RT’s special coverage June 23.”

On 23 June, the day of the referendum, RT said it had tweeted: “Together or apart? Follow RT special coverage.”

It listed the other four tweets, none of which could be taken to be biased to one side or the other by a normal human being.

Three were sent on 24 and 25 June after the vote was held.

Conservative MP Damian Collins, who chairs the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport Committee, took offence at Twitter’s submission, claiming it should have also listed accounts connected to Russia’s Internet Research Agency.

“The information you have now shared with us is completely inadequate,” he was quoted as saying.

“In the letter I sent to you on 3 November, I requested ‘that Twitter provides to the committee a list of accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency and any other Russian-linked accounts that it has removed and examples of any posts from these accounts that are linked to the United Kingdom'.”

RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said: “We hope that all those in the UK media and political establishments who have spent the last year and a half trying to prove that Britain voted for Brexit because of RT are seeing their efforts vindicated with the Big Reveal.”


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.