The study, sponsored by the Knight Foundation — a non-profit that works towards developing "informed and engaged communities" — points out that more than 80 percent of the accounts exposed as fake in 2016 are still active. Moreover, these accounts together are still pushing more than 1 million tweets on an average day.
Twitter's global vice president of trust and safety Del Harvey stated that the study that data the authors retrieved may not have reflected what the users actually see.
"This study was built using our public API and therefore does not take into account any of the actions we take to remove automated or spammy content and accounts from being viewed by people on Twitter," Harvey said. "We do this proactively and at scale, every single day."
Among other findings of the study is that fake news sites are still linked from Twitter much less often than mainstream media. The authors also noted that although the participation of the Russian bots in the misinformation is evident, most of it was attributed to American accounts. Also, hose accounts were found to be following each other, forming an "ultra-dense core."