Social media and Russian election activity

Pixabay / MGN

WASHINGTON (AP) - Major tech companies plan to tell Congress Tuesday that they have found additional evidence of Russian activity on their services surrounding the 2016 U.S. election.

Facebook, for instance, says a Russian group posted more than 80,000 times on its service during and after the election, potentially reaching as many as 126 million users. The company plans to disclose these numbers to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the testimony. The person declined to be named because the committee has not officially released the testimony.

Twitter plans to tell the same committee that it has uncovered and shut down 2,752 accounts linked to the same group, Russia's Internet Research Agency, which is known for promoting pro-Russian government positions.

That number is nearly 14 times larger than the number of accounts Twitter handed over to congressional committees three weeks ago, according to a person familiar with the matter. This person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the new findings ahead of the hearing on Tuesday.

And Google announced in a blog post that it found evidence of "limited" misuse of its services by the Russian group, as well as some YouTube channels that were likely backed by Russian agents.