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US Officials Uncover Alleged Russian ‘Bot Farm’ Spreading Disinformation

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 Fake accounts, Russia Today, Bot farm, AI-powered

FBI disrupts AI-powered operation from Russia using fake accounts to promote pro-Russian narratives.

US officials, led by the FBI, have taken decisive action against an AI-powered disinformation operation allegedly orchestrated from Russia. The operation involved nearly 1,000 accounts posing as Americans on social media platforms. These accounts, identified as bots rather than real individuals, were designed to amplify pro-Russia stories, particularly focusing on the conflict in Ukraine.

In court documents released by the US Justice Department on Tuesday, it was revealed that the operation was reportedly masterminded by a deputy editor at RT, the Kremlin-owned media outlet known as Russia Today. Despite RT's limited popularity on traditional airwaves, its influence on social media platforms has been significant.

The Justice Department's intervention included seizing two websites used to manage email communications related to the bot accounts. Additionally, they ordered the platform hosting the operation to provide information on 968 accounts identified as bots.

FBI Director Christopher Wray highlighted the significance of the operation, calling it a groundbreaking step in disrupting a Russian-sponsored generative AI-enhanced social media bot farm. He emphasized that Russia intended to utilize these bots to disseminate AI-generated disinformation, potentially impacting geopolitical narratives and undermining Ukraine and its allies.

While the accounts in question have since been removed by the hosting platform, screenshots shared by FBI investigators indicated that they had minimal followers, suggesting an attempt to maximize reach through automated means rather than genuine engagement.

The crackdown underscores ongoing efforts by US authorities to combat foreign influence operations targeting American and international audiences through deceptive online tactics.

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