Elon Musk's X Targeted By Russian AI-Driven Disinformation Campaign, DOJ Says It Has Disrupted The 'Bot Farm'

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The Department of Justice on Tuesday announced that it has disrupted a Russian disinformation campaign, backed by the Kremlin and managed by state-controlled media.

What Happened: The DOJ said that it had taken down a “bot farm” network of nearly 1,000 accounts on Elon Musk’s social media platform X, formerly Twitter. The network was using artificial intelligence to spread disinformation that favored the Russian government.

“Today’s actions represent a first in disrupting a Russian-sponsored Generative AI-enhanced social media bot farm,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. He went on to say that the bot farm was designed to disseminate AI-generated foreign disinformation, undermining Ukraine and influencing geopolitical narratives in Russia’s favor.

See Also: Microsoft Asks Staff In China To Switch From Android Phones To iPhones At Work: Report

According to the Justice Department, the operation was spearheaded by a Russian individual, a former editor-in-chief of RT, a Russian state-controlled media outlet with a significant presence in the U.S. The department also stated that the Russian intelligence service, FSB, also had access to the network.

Why It Matters: While the network was only active on X, a joint cybersecurity advisory issued by U.S., Dutch, and Canadian intelligence agencies indicated that the Russians planned to expand operations to other social media platforms.

The dismantling of the Russian disinformation operation comes amid growing concerns about the potential misuse of social media platforms to influence political narratives. In March earlier this year, Avril Haines, the Director of National Intelligence, raised concerns about China potentially using TikTok to influence the 2024 U.S. elections.

In February 2024, the EU also drafted guidelines for big tech companies to safeguard the democratic process.

Previously, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) reported accused Musk of “election interference,” which the tech mogul in response strongly opposed.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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