- Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey shared at least 17 tweets from a confirmed Russian troll between late-2016 and mid-2017, according to an analysis from The Wall Street Journal.
- The account Dorsey retweeted from, @Crystal1Johnson, was part of a list released by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee on Monday identifying accounts related to the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency.
- Dorsey shared tweets from that account about Bob Marley’s son, Colin Kaepernick, Women’s History Month, and racism.
Twitter has a problem keeping Russian trolls off of its platform. It’s such a problem, in fact, that even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was apparently fooled by one.
According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey retweeted at least 17 tweets from user @Crystal1Johnson – a user posing as an African-American woman, who we know now to be a confirmed Russian troll.
The tweets in question were shared between late 2016 and mid-2017.
The account was included in a list of 1,100 account names released Monday by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee identifying Russian trolls linked to the Internet Research Agency. The now infamous Moscow-based “Russian troll factory” was indicted by Robert Mueller for allegedly creating fake accounts in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election, sow political and social discord, and influence online conversation.
Tweets from the @Crystal1Johnson account, including those shared by Dorsey, are no longer publicly available because Twitter has since suspended the account. But data reviewed by the Journal found that the tweets Dorsey shared included topics such as Bob Marley’s son converting a prison into a place to grow marijuana, and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The Wall Street Journal’s analysis confirms an earlier report from The Daily Beast last year, which not only identified @Crystal1Johnson as a Russian troll, but found that Dorsey retweeted two tweets from that specific account.
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“Rihanna collects her Humanitarian of the Year award from Harvard. She kicked off #WomensHistoryMonth with a bang!” reads one tweet, which The Daily Beast found using the caching service Archive.is.
“Nobody is born a racist. This picture is so sweet! Teach your children to judge others by the kind of person they are inside,” reads the other tweeted identified by The Daily Beast.
A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment on the issue of Dorsey sharing tweets from a Russian troll, but did applaud the House Intelligence Committee for releasing the list of IRA-linked accounts. The spokesperson also noted that all 1,100 accounts have been suspended from the platform.
“Twitter has long said we would welcome Committees releasing the information we have shared with them, and that because those materials became part of a Congressional investigation it was up to the committees when and whether this information would be made public,” the spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider.