At least one Republican lawmaker engaged with Russia-linked content on Twitter during the 2016 election. On Saturday, Texas Sen. John Cornyn tweeted a screenshot of an email the social networking platform had sent notifying him of the fact that he’d been one of the hundreds of thousands to have interacted with Russian content.
The message Cornyn received stated that the site had detected possible interaction — such as likes, retweets, follows, or conversations — between him and now-suspended accounts connected to a government-linked Russian propaganda organization called the Internet Research Agency.
“Finally social media is waking up to manipulation of public opinion by our adversaries,” Cornyn wrote. “All of us need to step up to meet this challenge, especially the Press.”
Finally social media is waking up to manipulation of public opinion by our adversaries. All of us need to step up to meet this challenge, especially the Press. pic.twitter.com/BuRRvUVcRP
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) January 20, 2018
Twitter and Facebook have come under fire for the lack of action they took to prevent their users from being exposed to fake news and propaganda linked to the Russian government in 2016. On Friday, Twitter announced that it would be letting users who’d engaged with propaganda accounts and bots during the election know that they’d done so.
“Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we are emailing notifications to 677,775 people in the United States who followed one of these accounts or retweeted or liked a Tweet from these accounts during the election period,” read a post on Twitter’s blog.
It’ll be interesting to see if any other legislators will come forward and let the public know that they either helped spread or consumed Russian content in 2016.