Twitter hands over ads from Russian TV network

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WASHINGTON — The social media giant Twitter said it has provided congressional investigators with a “roundup” of ads from accounts used by Russia’s state-sponsored television network, RT.

The company said in a blog post that RT spent $274,100 on ads targeted to markets in the U.S. during 2016. Twitter provided the ads to investigators during closed-door meetings Thursday with the staff of the Senate and House intelligence committees.

The committees have been investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and any possible coordination with Trump associates. They have specifically been looking at Twitter and Facebook and their roles in the spread of misinformation and propaganda during the election.

Twitter said the ads it provided came from three handles used by RT. Most tweets from the accounts promoted news stories.

The meetings come after similar briefings from Facebook earlier this month. The House and Senate panels have invited both tech giants, along with Google, to appear at public hearings this fall.

The committees are scrutinizing the spread of false news stories and propaganda on social media, to what extent Russia was involved and whether anyone in the United States helped target those stories.

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