Russian agent 'posing as Ukip supporter to spread anti-EU propaganda on Twitter'

Analysis shows Twitter account could be part of Russian disinformation campaign

A Twitter account could belong to a Russian agent

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Twitter account which posts eurosceptic views is thought to belong to a Russian agent posing as a Ukip supporter, according to research.

Tweets from an account called @DavidJo52951945 have been analysed and could have been posted as part of a disinformation campaign, according to The Times.

More than 100,000 users follow the account and posts have also been retweeted by Ukip officials. Tweets are often against immigration and include news links and pro-Brexit views.

The DavidJo account also occasionally tweets about popular culture. Views posted on the account also appear to be in line with Russia's hope for the EU to fall apart.

Suspicions about the account led a US-based data scientist to put the tweets into analysis software.

The analysis revealed that the tweets are usually always posted between 8am and 8pm Moscow time (5am-5pm UK time), despite the account claiming Jones is based in "Southampton/Isle of Wight."

Due to the tweets being posted every few minutes all week, the analysts reportedly suspect this is someone's personal project, or perhaps a team of people run the account.

Research also showed that the account seems to be linked to other accounts with similar names that promote pro-Russian agendas.

Keir Giles, a Chatham House expert in Russian information warfare, claims the high standard of English and complexity of views means that if the claim is true it's “one of the most sophisticated” pro-Kremlin social media accounts.

Yesterday (August 29) the account controller said the claims were “completely defamatory” and made up. They also said they aren’t pro-Kremlin - just a supporter of Brexit.

The account has now been changed to a private one so only users who are approved by the account can read the tweets.

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