As part of its recent update, Twitter said it is emailing 677,775 accounts held by U.S. individuals who positively interacted with the suspected accounts - that is, people who either liked content from them, retweeted content from them, or followed the accounts.
Despite the rise in Russia-backed accounts, Twitter insists the total lot accounts for just "two one-hundredths of a percent (0.016%) of the total accounts on Twitter at the time".
An intelligence community assessment issued shortly before President Donald Trump's inauguration said that Russian efforts to influence the election demonstrated a clear preference for Trump over Clinton, and included a multi-pronged disinformation effort across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Russia's own state news service Russia Today, which made overtures to American political figures during the period. The company said it had discovered about 50,000 Russia-linked automated accounts that tweeted out some election-related content.
Twitter has identified an additional 1,062 accounts associated with the Russia-backed Internet Research Agency (IRA) accused of interfering with the 2016 USA presidential election.
Twitter said most "user engagement" was with a very small number of IRA-associated accounts.
The investigation unearthed an additional 1,062 accounts associated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), and 13,512 more Russia-based bots than were previously found.
Twitter posted new information Friday that sheds light on US-election interference activity linked to Russian Federation that was carried out on its platform.
It's possible that the Russian-affiliated accounts simply "hopped on it, promoted it, amplified it", taking their cues from the Republican leaders, Schafer said.
And 677,775 people saw, followed or retweeted one of these accounts during that same period, and are being notified. It has also suspended the accounts behind the tweets. Twitter suspended the accounts, some of which were run by humans, so it will not tell each user what tweets they interacted with.
The 175,993 tweets from those accounts were spread far and wide by the network of automated tweeters supporting them. The company now believes a total of 3,814 accounts were associated with the IRA, and 50,258 accounts were automated bots linked to Russian Federation.
An example of IRA content.
In preparation for the USA midterm elections, the website is protecting major candidates and parties against impersonation, communicating with election officials and improving anti-spam technology.