Twitter publishes information ops data from Russia, Iran for research

The datasets are bulky, but may give researchers some insight to how these information ops work on Twitter.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Twitter has published data on information operations from Russia and Iran since 2016.

The company had previously disclosed that third parties were trying to influence various groups since 2016. Tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have been under fire for being lax about shutting down groups such as the Internet Research Agency and Iran operatives.

Twitter's data sets contain a .CSV file with information describing the Tweets as well as larger files that contain media, Tweets and images.

Overall, the datasets hold 3,841 accounts affiliated with Russian and the IRA and 770 other accounts likely from Iran.

Elections 2018: Is misinformation killing democracy? The enemy is us | Free PDF download: A Winning Strategy for Cybersecurity

Twitter said it is committed to "understanding how bad-faith actors use our services," but also acknowledged that independent research will help its own team.

The datasets can be downloaded on Twitter's Elections Integrity site. Note the following:

These datasets include all public, nondeleted Tweets and media (e.g., images and videos) from accounts we believe are connected to state-backed information operations. Tweets deleted by these users prior to their suspension (which are not included in these datasets) comprise less than 1% of their overall activity. Note that not all of the accounts we identified as connected to these campaigns actively Tweeted, so the number of accounts represented in the datasets may be less than the total number of accounts listed here.

Editorial standards