Analyzing Twitter Users' Behavior Before and After Contact by the Russia's Internet Research Agency Journal Article uri icon



  • Social media platforms have been exploited to conduct election interference in recent years. In particular, the Russian-backed Internet Research Agency (IRA) has been identified as a key source of misinformation spread on Twitter prior to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The goal of this research is to understand whether general Twitter users changed their behavior in the year following first contact from an IRA account. We compare the before and after behavior of contacted users to determine whether there were differences in their mean tweet count, the sentiment of their tweets, and the frequency and sentiment of tweets mentioning @realDonaldTrump or @HillaryClinton. Our results indicate that users overall exhibited statistically significant changes in behavior across most of these metrics, and that those users that engaged with the IRA generally showed greater changes in behavior.

publication date

  • April 13, 2021

has restriction

  • bronze

Date in CU Experts

  • January 28, 2022 9:27 AM

Full Author List

  • Dutta U; Hanscom R; Zhang JS; Han R; Lehman T; Lv Q; Mishra S

author count

  • 7

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2573-0142

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 24


  • 5


  • CSCW1