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Reddit takes down accounts suspected of ties to Russian propaganda

File photo of Reddit mascots on display at the company's headquarters in San Francisco

Reddit mascots are displayed at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, California in this April 15, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files

(Reuters) – Social media network Reddit announced on Tuesday that it had taken down nearly a thousand accounts suspected of links to Russia’s Internet Research Agency.

The company said 316 posts from the Russian accounts were made on the popular pro-Trump page, The_Donald, which reflected intense support for the New York businessman during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The Internet Research Agency, based in St. Petersburg, Russia, employs hundreds of people to push pro-Kremlin content under phony social media accounts, according to U.S. lawmakers and researchers.

The office of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies, including the Internet Research Agency, with engaging in a criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper with the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign to support Donald Trump and disparage Hillary Clinton.

A court document released in February said those accused “had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

Moscow denies any meddling in the 2016 elections to help Republican Trump win.

U.S. Senator Mark Warner said in a statement following the Reddit announcement, “As the 2018 elections approach, I will continue pressing the nation’s intelligence leaders and social media companies to be far more aggressive and proactive in responding to this threat.”

(Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Brown)

 

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