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Twitter may have forgotten to purge Kremlin Vine accounts

Twitter accounts tied to Russia were purged, but the corresponding Vine videos were untouched.
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Bloomberg via Getty Images

Twitter may be getting better at removing Russian propaganda bots from its service, but that doesn't mean it's still not a little bit careless. CNN believes that the company may have purged some offending Twitter accounts, but forgot to check if any of them had Vine profiles as well. Consequently, it took until this week and CNN's intervention, before a string of notorious six-second video clips were taken down.

Twitter shut down Vine at the tail-end of 2016, but pledged that specific clips from certain notable accounts would remain available. Last fall, Twitter handed over a list of more than 2,750 usernames that it believed were linked to the Kremlin connected disinformation bureau the Internet Research Agency. But those accounts, including @Guns4life_me and @PoliceStateMe, had publicly-viewable clips in Vine's archive.

Since CNN's story broke, the accounts have been suspended, but it's thought that between them, videos were looped more than 14 million times. In a statement, Twitter said that had "suspended all known Vine accounts" that it was able to link to the Internet Research Agency. That doesn't seem to be good enough for the Senate Intelligence Committee's Mark Warner, who said that Twitter needs to "take responsibility and be proactive about stopping Russians and other bad actors who are abusing its platform."

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