The blogging platform Tumblr has unmasked 84 accounts that it says were used by a shadowy Russian internet group to spread disinformation during the 2016 US election campaign. Tumblr said it uncovered the scheme in late 2017, helping an investigation that led to the indictment in February of 13 individuals linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA). The announcement adds Tumblr to the list of internet platforms targeted in a social media campaign that US officials said sought to disrupt the 2016 election and help boost Donald Trump’s bid to defeat Hillary Clinton. A Tumblr statement said it discovered the accounts “were being used as part of a disinformation campaign leading up to the 2016 US election”. The company said it notified law enforcement, terminated the accounts, and deleted the posts while working “behind the scenes” with the US Justice Department.
Tumblr said it is now free to disclose what happened, and unveiled steps to protect the platform against further disinformation campaigns.
The blogging site said it would notify by email “anyone who liked, reblogged, replied to, or followed an IRA-linked account with the list of usernames they engaged with,” the statement said.
It also listed the 84 user names linked to the Russian “troll farm” so users could see if they had interactions with the entities.