New U.S. Website Aims To Track Russian ‘Disinformation’ On Twitter

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Aug. 3, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/us-pro-democracy-group-german-marshall-fund-launches-website-tracking-russian-disinformation-twitter/28656024.html)

WASHINGTON — A pro-democracy group has launched a new website to monitor and highlight what it says is Russian-backed disinformation on Twitter.

The site, called Hamilton 68, which was launched on August 2, is a project of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, housed at the German Marshall Fund. [http://dashboard.securingdemocracy.org/]

Twitter Logo and Faint World MapThe effort aims to track and analyze English-language tweets from some 600 Twitter accounts the site has identified as spreading Russian propaganda.

Twitter said it was not involved in the effort.

U.S intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow engaged in a hacking-and-propaganda effort to try to sway last year’s U.S. presidential campaign.

Their report in January prompted a number of private and public projects to try and identify fake Facebook accounts and Twitter feeds that are deliberately spreading misinformation.

The name for the new website is taken from a famous essay authored in 1788 by Alexander Hamilton, who later became the first U.S. treasury secretary. Essay 68 discussed “protecting America’s electoral process from foreign meddling.”

The Washington D.C.-headquartered German Marshall Fund is a policy think tank funded by money from the U.S. and German governments as well as private donors.