Russian Twitter bots attempted to influence election by supporting Jeremy Corbyn investigation

Russia attempted to influence the results of the general election by promoting the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn,  it has been claimed. 6,500 Russian Twitter accounts, many of which are run by internet robots known as “bots”, supported Labour in the run up to last year’s election, an investigation by The Sunday Times has found.The social media accounts, most of which were created in the weeks before polling day, denigrated the Conservatives and promoted Labour during key points of the campaign, according to reports. The Twitter accounts helped Corbyn turn the Manchester Arena bombing into a campaigning point by amplifying tweets criticising May for cutting police numbers as Home Secretary, it was claimed. Matt Hancock, the digital and culture secretary, said the revelations are “extremely concerning” and urged Twitter to act to prevent it from happening again.  Most of the social media accounts were created in the weeks before polling day, it was reported Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Most of the social media accounts were created in the weeks before polling day, it was reported “Labour’s proposed crackdown on tax dodging, failed privatisation and corrupt oligarchs is opposed by both May and Putin’s conservative philosophy and their super-rich supporters. “The Labour Party’s people-powered election campaign attracted huge levels of public support online. We were not aware of any from automated bots, categorically did not pay for any and are not aware of any of our supporters doing so.” “It is absolutely unacceptable for any nation to attempt to interfere in the democratic elections of another country,” he told The Sunday Times.”The social media companies need to act to safeguard our democratic discourse and reveal what they know.”A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Russian Government made clear its support for the Conservative Party in the 2017 UK General Election, with the Russian Embassy in London promoting their ideological “convergence” and Theresa May’s “strong and stable” slogan on Twitter. read more