Over 3,000 global news outlets inadvertently published articles containing embedded tweets by the confirmed Kremlin-linked troll accounts in over 11,000 news articles in the run-up to the 2016 election, NBC News reported.
President Donald Trump, CNN anchor Jake Tapper, The Washington Post, Breitbart and Jack Dorsey, the head of Twitter, and at least 40 celebrities and politicians were all roped into boosting tweets created by a Russian "troll factory" to millions of followers.
On Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee publicly released for the first time the list of over 2,700 handles provided by Twitter that the social media platform linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian intelligence agency-linked firm based in St. Petersburg, Russia.
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"I certainly wasn't expecting to find as much as I did," Johnny Vance, Director of Strategic Programs at a media intelligence company Meltwater who shared its findings with NBC News. "The level of penetration in news media and to see the amount of traction [the Russian state-sponsored trolls] were able to get in global news media was eye-opening."