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    UK MPs 'Took Offense' at Twitter Response to Alleged Russian Brexit Input - RT

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    In October, UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of interfering in Britain's affairs, claiming that Russian state media "sow discord in the West."

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — UK parliamentarians "took offense" at Twitter after it failed to provide evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit referendum and asked Twitter "to dig dipper," RT and Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said on Friday.

    On Wednesday, Twitter wrote to Damian Collins, head of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons, which is leading the inquiry into the matter. The company explained that it had identified only one account likely funded from Russian sources, which promoted content related to the Brexit referendum during the campaign period. The account belonged to the broadcaster RT and published six referendum-related ads, having spent $1,031 on them. On Thursday, Collins called the information the IT giant had provided an "inadequate response."

    In his statement Thursday, Collins said that he had asked Twitter to provide the committee with a list of accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency and any other Russia-linked accounts that it had removed and examples of any posts from these accounts which were linked to the United Kingdom.

    The parliamentarian also criticized Twitter by saying that journalists and academics had so far provided more information about activities on the social network than the company itself. The parliamentarian also set January 15 as a deadline for Twitter to provide the relevant information at his request.

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    Facebook also faced criticism from Collins on Wednesday after the company said in response to his inquiry that a mere $0.97 was spent by Russia's Internet Research Agency on the referendum-related ads. Google, which has also been asked for input in the probe, said it had found no evidence of Russian interference.

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May has 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.

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    In the meantime, Twitter has banned advertising from accounts owned by RT and Sputnik news agency, on the basis of its internal investigation, which was carried out following the US intelligence community’s conclusion that both media outlets had attempted to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. The move provoked criticism in Russia, which has repeatedly denied any meddling activities.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has dismissed claims of Russian interference in the Brexit vote, saying that such allegations were illustrative of a lack of professionalism among politicians, who were trying to replace the absence of real action or political success with such claims. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has also repeatedly denied claims of Russian meddling in domestic issues of various countries, calling them groundless.


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    "Russian meddling", Brexit, Sputnik News, RT, Twitter, Margarita Simonyan, Russia, United Kingdom
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