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US Department of Justice uncovers Russian AI-powered disinformation network on X

US authorities have seized domain names and searched nearly 1,000 X accounts linked to a sophisticated Russian disinformation operation.
russian bot farms on x
The logo of a social media platform X, former Twitter. Illustrative photo
US Department of Justice uncovers Russian AI-powered disinformation network on X

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has uncovered and disrupted a sophisticated Russian disinformation operation involving an AI-enhanced bot farm on social media platform X.

According to affidavits released on 9 July, the DoJ seized two domain names and searched 986 X accounts linked to this operation.

The DoJ reports that the bot farm was developed by the Russian state media network RT and operated by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).

The department stated that this bot farm used AI to create fictitious social media profiles of individuals falsely posing as US individuals to promote messages in support of Russian government objectives.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland described the operation as an “AI-enabled propaganda campaign” intended to spread disinformation on US and international social media platforms. The DoJ’s actions, Garland said, have successfully disrupted this campaign.

According to the DoJ, RT leadership has sought alternative means to distribute Russian narratives beyond its international TV broadcasts since at least 2022. The bot farm project reportedly began in April 2022, with the Kremlin approving and offering financial support in early 2023 to create a private intelligence organization for spreading Russian disinformation.

The affidavits reveal that the X accounts linked to the bot farm propagated debunked narratives and Kremlin talking points about the war in Ukraine. One such narrative claimed that parts of Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania were “gifts” from Russia.

The bot farm also pushed other narratives in video format, including one featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin claiming that the war in Ukraine is “not a territorial conflict or a matter of geopolitical balance, but rather about the principles on which the New World Order will be based.”

The DoJ emphasized the prevalence of fictitious social media accounts, particularly on X, that were linked to both the bot farm and the seized domain names. The department reported that X voluntarily suspended the remaining identified bot accounts.

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