Wheeler asks feds to investigate suspicious social media activit - KPTV - FOX 12

Wheeler asks feds to investigate suspicious social media activity

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Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. KPTV file photo. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. KPTV file photo.

Portland’s mayor is concerned that fake social media accounts in Portland are being used to divide city politics.

In a letter this week to the U.S. Department of Justice, Mayor Ted Wheeler says Portland’s Facebook and Twitter accounts “may have been, or currently are, being used by foreign conspirators in an attempt to sow political discord.”

He says he’s troubled by the fact that 38 percent of his Twitter followers are of “dubious origin”.

Twitter Audit, a tool that is used to examine users’ followers, confirms his claim.

He’s also concerned by the sheer number of posts to city social media accounts that match up to Russian propaganda accounts.

Wheeler says he doesn’t think the problem stops at city limits.

He is requesting a federal investigation.

His request to investigators comes on the heels of Robert Mueller’s recent indictment of the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company accused of orchestrating a mass online disinformation campaign to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

“I suspect this problem reaches far beyond our city,” Wheeler said in his letter. “But Portland stands ready to lead the way to keep local politics free of foreign interference.”

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