The Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating 45 additional suspicious Twitter accounts with strong links to Russian bots that were uncovered by BuzzFeed News, a source said.
The accounts were not included in previous submissions by Twitter to congressional investigators looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Twitter suspended the 45 accounts last week after BuzzFeed News uncovered the network of bots, which tweeted propaganda about President Donald Trump, Brexit, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2016. BuzzFeed News discovered the accounts using a simple analysis of interactions with the Russian accounts Twitter previously flagged to Congress. Experts said the revelation raises questions about whether the social media giant is taking the issue seriously enough.
Following the report, the Senate Intelligence Committee contacted Twitter — which testified alongside Facebook and Google in open hearings to Congress earlier this month — about the accounts, according to a source familiar with the matter. The source said Twitter’s response to the recent request was “brief and insufficient.” The committee, the source said, is asking for a list of the handles of the new, now-suspended Twitter accounts and information associated with them.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is awaiting responses to that request as well as written questions senators submitted to Twitter, Facebook, and Google following the public hearing. The degree to which the social media companies answer those questions will determine whether they are taking the threat of Russian interference and the…