(Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. has published data sets comprising millions of tweets, images and videos and thousands of accounts linked to operatives based in Russia and Iran, who have sought to use the platform for nefarious purposes.
The social media company has previously disclosed the activities, going back to 2016, but said in a blog post Wednesday that it was opening up the data to the public to encourage independent analysis by researchers, academics and journalists.
The announcement comes as EU officials are bracing for attempted meddling by Russia-backed operatives and their copycats ahead of the bloc’s elections in the spring, where far-right parties are set to make gains.
Tech firms have come under fire over the past year by lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe to do more to rein in the activity after intelligence services concluded that Russia spread disinformation across their platforms to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the U.K.’s Brexit vote.
The company has in response flagged content posted on its sites by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency and sent notices to users who’ve communicated with the accounts. In August, Twitter disclosed details of an attempted influence campaign it said appeared to originate from Iran.
"In line with our strong principles of transparency and with the goal of improving understanding of foreign influence and information campaigns, we are releasing the full, comprehensive archives of the Tweets and media that are connected with these two previously disclosed and potentially state-backed operations on our service," the company said in a blog post.
The datasets are made up of 3,841 accounts affiliated with the Internet Research Agency, 770 other accounts potentially in Iran as well as 10 million tweets and more than 2 million images, videos and other media.
Twitter previously suspended 770 accounts linked to Iran for "engaging in coordinated manipulation" and violating policies. Less than 100 of those claimed to be located in the U.S., and many "were sharing divisive social commentary,” the company said in August. The social network followed Facebook’s footsteps in identifying actors other than those linked to Russia.
Twitter said it doesn’t expect such information operations to stop and expects bad actors to continue to adapt to new technologies. It said an independent analysis of the activity is an important step towards a shared understanding of the threats.