The Future

Tumblr bans accounts associated with Russian election meddlers

An email sent around to users who interacted with the accounts claims “democracy requires transparency.”

The Future

84
The number of accounts banned by Tumblr for association with the Internet Research Agency
The Future

Tumblr bans accounts associated with Russian election meddlers

An email sent around to users who interacted with the accounts claims “democracy requires transparency.”

Microblogging platform Tumblr, perhaps best known for its memes and fan communities, is sending emails to users who interacted with accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a propaganda group tied to the Russian government that spread political messages on social media designed to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.

“Democracy requires transparency and an informed electorate and we take our disclosure responsibility very seriously,” reads an email from Tumblr to one of its users obtained by The Outline. “We’ll be aggressively watching for disinformation campaigns in the future, take the appropriate action, and make sure you know about it.”

According to the email, the company terminated 84 accounts associated with the IRA. The email listed a number of specific accounts linked to the IRA:

  • 1-800-gloup
  • bellygangstaboo
  • lagonegirl
  • mooseblogtimes
  • morningwoodz previously known as: 5cubes, bangbangempire, empireofweird, gifemprireohh, innerpicsempire, picsempire
  • rebellloudwiththecrowd previously known as: massivelystrangetyrant
  • sumchckn previously known as: blondeinpolitics, blvckcommunity, classylgbthomie, hwuudoin, politixblondie
  • thetrippytrip previously known as: matrixpath, themostpost
  • thingstolovefor previously known as: the-inner-mirror

Most reporting on the IRA has focused on Facebook and Twitter, where it is believed to have used large botnets and popular political pages to support then-candidate Donald Trump, as well as other perceived underdog causes including Democratic contender Bernie Sanders and the activist group Black Lives Matter.

But the organization was also active on other platforms. In addition to Tumblr, Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman recently disclosed that the site had identified and banned “a few hundred accounts” suspected of being run by Russian operatives.

Earlier this month, Congressional investigators called on Tumblr earlier this month to provide information about how the IRA might have used its platform.

Jon Christian is a contributing writer for The Outline.
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