Tumblr Deleting Russian Linked Accounts

It seems that Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only ones that have problems with Russian linked accounts that may be up to no good. According to a reader (thanks for the tip by the way) of this blog, it seems that Tumblr is sending out emails to users that inform them that they have come in contact with Russian linked accounts and that those accounts are being deleted. Here’s the first part of the message:

As part of our commitment to transparency, we want you to know that we uncovered and terminated 84 accounts linked to Internet Research Agency or IRA (a group closely tied to the the Russian government) posing as members of the Tumblr community.

The IRA engages in electronic disinformation and propaganda campaigns around the world using phony social media accounts. When we uncovered these accounts, we notified law enforcement, terminated the accounts, and deleted their original posts.

While investigating their activity on Tumblr, we discovered that you either followed one of these accounts linked to the IRA, or liked or reblogged one of their posts:

The next part of the message details the Tumblr accounts that were linked with the users accounts, followed by this:

You aren’t in trouble, and don’t need to take any action if you don’t want to. We deleted the accounts but decided to leave up any reblog chains so that you can curate your own Tumblr to reflect your own personal views and perspectives.

Democracy requires transparency and an informed electorate and we take our disclosure responsibility very seriously. We’ll be aggressively watching for disinformation campaigns in the future, take the appropriate action, and make sure you know about it.

— Tumblr

This is an interesting tactic on the part of Tumblr as I am pretty sure that they don’t want to be the next protest hashtag that trends because they didn’t do anything to stop Russian linked accounts. I do wonder how effective it will be though. But I suppose that they have to start somewhere. I also wonder how leaving up any content that has been reblogged helps this situation. I guess Tumblr doesn’t want to be seen as censors. But if it were me I would zap it all so that these Russians don’t continue to benefit from the posts in question. In any case, This is an interesting development as I must admit that I didn’t see this coming.



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