MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Researchers from the University of Edinburgh claim that they have detected 419 Twitter accounts believed to be run from Russia and publishing posts about Brexit, local media reported.
The scholars from Scotland have studied the list of 2,752 Twitter accounts suspended by the social networking service in the United States for allegedly carrying out their activities during the 2016 presidential election and attempting to influence the vote, The Guardian said Tuesday.
Russia set up fake Twitter accounts to fool people into voting to leave the EU, data shows https://t.co/sx9su5Y3mQ— Steve Reed (@SteveReedMP) November 14, 2017
The researchers found that hundreds of accounts, described as being linked to the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) had also tweeted about Brexit or about other issues related to UK policy, such as the tweets allegedly attempting to stir up anti-Islamic sentiment during the Westminster Bridge terror attack, the newspaper added.
We've got the first evidence that Russia used Twitter to influence Brexit— WIRED UK (@WiredUK) November 11, 2017
• Small network of accounts followed by 268,643 people
• Posted anti-immigration, Islamophonic propaganda
• Retweeted one another to falsely amplify their messagehttps://t.co/Deybc0nce3
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday fiercely criticized Russia for "weaponizing information" claiming that Russian state-run media was used to "plant fake stories" in order to "sow discord in the west." She accused Russia of interfering in foreign elections citing cases of alleged Russian hacking of the Danish Defense Ministry and German parliament. The Russian Foreign Ministry has called May's accusations "irresponsible and groundless" noting that the United Kingdom was also seeking global leadership on the issue of deterring Russia.