Twitter Fails to Provide “Straight Answers” to MPs Regarding Russian influence on Brexit in Fake News Inquiry


Twitter has been cited for its failure to give MPs straight answers regarding the investigation on the Russian influence on the Brexit vote.

The tech giant and Facebook were initially given a ticking off late in 2017 because of their “inadequate” responses to an inquiry regarding fake news by the digital, culture, media and sport select committee.

As a response, Twitter informed, Damian Collins, the committee chair, that one percent of the 13,500 accounts that were identified as bots that were active only during the Brexit vote by a group of researchers were registered to be from Russia.

In a letter, Twitter said that almost half of the bot accounts were removed from the social media site under spam rules before the study even took place last October. The tech firm concluded that there was little evidence of a link between the bots and Russia.

Collins said that the committee was not satisfied with their response.

Collins stated: “I’m afraid that the failure to obtain straight answers to these questions, whatever they might be, is simply increasing concerns about these issues, rather than reassuring people.”

The committee was left with “outstanding questions” that remained to be unanswered as well as additional ones in light of the response, said Collins, adding that he was expecting a further response before the company and other technology companies offer evidence to the committee on the 8th of February.

The said evidence session is set to be held in the United States of America – a first in the history of the select committee – where it will grill representatives of tech companies on their home turf.

Last week, Facebook responded to the initial concerns of the MPs saying that it would deepen its own investigation into the matter.