Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic Party members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a corner minute to the executives of Facebook and Twitter yesterday propelling them to serve excavate into ongoing Russian change campaigns on their platforms around the “ReleaseTheMemo” hashtag. The hashtag references a memo created by House Intelligence Committee authority Devin Nunes detailing purported abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the FBI. WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange offering on Twitter to compensate anyone who leaked the memo to him.
According to a social media tracking plan by the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy, a poignant partial of the support on social media for declassification of Nunes’ memo has come from accounts tranquil by Russia-backed “troll” accounts—some of them programmed “bots” that promote other posts for promotion purposes.
The Alliance for Securing Democracy, the classification behind the social media tracking site Hamilton 68, reported last Friday that real-time information showed that #ReleaseTheMemo was mostly being used by accounts identified as tranquil by Russian change campaigns.
“As of right now, #ReleaseTheMemo has been used over 3,000 times (and 5 other associated hashtags are in the top 10),” German Marshall Fund communications Coordinator Bret Schafer pronounced in an email to press last Friday. “In total, they’ve simply shared some-more than 4,500 hashtags on the subject in the past two days, and the top URL is Assange’s offer to compensate for a duplicate of the memo. That positively seems to be a sign of a concurrent bid by the bots and trolls.”
Hamilton 68′s tracking of Russian “bots” and trolls has been controversial, generally among supporters of President Donald Trump. Feinstein (who is also a member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee) and Schiff have asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for their companies’ “urgent assistance” in verifying the report, requesting that the companies control an “in-depth debate hearing of this real-time activity” and furnish a report to Congress and the open by Jan 26. The specific questions Schiff and Feinstein wish answered:
- Whether and how many accounts related to Russian change operations are concerned in this campaign
- The magnitude and volume of their postings on this topic
- How many legitimate Twitter and Facebook comment holders have been unprotected to this campaign
“These new Russian efforts are dictated to change congressional movement and criticise Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation,” Schiff and Feinstein wrote.”It is critically critical that the Special Counsel’s review be allowed to ensue but division from inside or outward the United States. If these reports are accurate, we are witnessing an ongoing attack by the Russian supervision by Kremlin-linked social media actors directly behaving to meddle and change the approved process.”