US seizes 968 social media accounts used by Russian actors to create AI-enhanced bot farm

US seizes 968 social media accounts used by Russian actors to create AI-enhanced bot farm

Bot farm used AI elements to create fictitious social media profiles; X voluntarily suspends identified bot accounts, says Justice Department

By Ovunc Kutlu

ISTANBUL (AA) - The US seized two domain names and 968 social media accounts on X used by Russian actors to create an artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced social media bot farm that spread disinformation in the US and abroad, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

The bot farm used elements of AI to create fictitious social media profiles, often purporting to belong to individuals in the US, it said in a statement.

The operators then used the bot farm to promote messages in support of Russian government objectives, according to affidavits unsealed Tuesday, it added.

The US Cyber National Mission Force and the FBI partnered with the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, the Netherlands General Intelligence and Security Service, Netherlands Military Intelligence and Security Service and Netherlands Police to release a joint cybersecurity advisory detailing the technology behind the bot farm.

While the advisory will allow social media platforms to identify and prevent the Russian government’s further use of the technology, X voluntarily suspended the remaining bot accounts identified in court documents, according to the statement.

"With these actions, the Justice Department has disrupted a Russian-government backed, AI-enabled propaganda campaign to use a bot farm to spread disinformation in the United States and abroad," said Attorney General Merrick. Garland.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said Russian government actors and their agents deploying AI to sow disinformation and fuel division among Americans will not be tolerated.

"We will not hesitate to shut down bot farms, seize illegally obtained internet domains, and take the fight to our adversaries," she added.

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