Image: lionel bonaventure/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Monica Chin2018-03-23 17:29:30 UTC
The internet is aflame with news of state-sponsored propaganda campaigns, and Tumblr has spoken out.
In a blog post, the social network’s staff announced it will take several actions to curtail interference in political conversation on its platform.
The company claims that, last fall, it uncovered 84 Tumblr accounts linked the Russia-linked Internet Research Agency, which took part in fake news and ad campaigns leading up to the 2016 election.
Tumblr will be emailing anyone who liked, reblogged, replied to, or followed an IRA-linked account. If you get such an email, you’ll still get to choose whether or not to delete those posts.
“We’re letting you decide because the reblog chains contain posts created by real Tumblr users, often challenging or debunking the false and incideniary claims in the IRA-linked original post,” the post reads. “Removing those authentic posts without your consent would encroach on your free speech — and there have been enough disruptions to our conversations as it is.”
The company will also keep a public record of IRA-linked usernames. “We’re committed to transparency and want you to know everything that we know.”
Tumblr also says it is committed to terminating accounts in the future if it finds them to be affiliated with “disinformation campaigns,” and alerting law enforcement of their identities. “Be aware that people want to manipulate the conversation,” the post reads. “Knowing that disinformation and propaganda accounts are out there makes it harder for them to operate.”