Times newspaper: Russian Twitter accounts promoted Brexit ahead of European Union referendum

Postado Novembro 15, 2017

Russian Twitter accounts posted nearly 45,000 messages about Brexit in the 48 hours around last year's referendum in an attempt to sow discord during the vote on whether to leave the European Union, the Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Times cited research from an upcoming paper by data scientists at Swansea University and the University of California, Berkeley, which it said showed accounts based in Russian Federation had tweeted about Brexit in the days leading up to the June 23 vote. Sveta1972 posted 92 tweets about Brexi-in English-between June 20 and 24, including one that called on the U.K.to "make June the 23rd our Independence Day", according to The Times.

The paper claims a "massive number of Russian-related tweets were created a few days before the voting day, reached its peak during the voting and the result and then dropped immediately afterwards". It quoted Tho Pham, one of the paper's authors, as saying "the main conclusion is that bots were used on goal and had influence".

Researchers claim there were more than 400 Twitter accounts which were allegedly controlled from Russian Federation creating posts about Brexit.

The researchers from the University of Edinburgh looked at 2,752 Twitter accounts which the social media site has suspended in the USA, according to The Guardian.

The committee has already written to Facebook for information on any paid-for activity by Russia-linked accounts around the referendum and last general election.

The narrow "leave" vote was a huge tactical win for Putin, weakening Europe and tying the United Kingdom up in wranglings over its departure for years.

Prime Minister, Theresa May, directly criticized the Putin administration in a speech on Monday for using fake news to try and destabilize rival democratic nations. "Deploying its state-run media organizations to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions".