Microsoft finds Russian influence operations targeting U.S. election have slowly begun

microsoft, microsoft finds russian influence operations targeting u.s. election have slowly begun

FILE PHOTO: Combination picture showing U.S. President Joe Biden delivering remarks on lowering costs for American families, in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., March 19, 2024 and Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump taking the stage during a campaign rally in Atkinson, New Hampshire, U.S., January 16, 2024. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque and Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Microsoft said on Wednesday it found Russian online campaigns aimed at influencing the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential election kicked into gear over the past 45 days, although the activity is slower than seen around past elections.

Researchers at the tech giant said in a report that Russia-linked accounts were disseminating divisive content aimed at U.S. audiences, including criticising American support of Ukraine in its war with Russia.

The activity is slower than seen in previous elections but it could just be the beginning of more to come, the researchers said in the report.

The Russian embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment on the report, but the Kremlin said last month that it would not meddle in the November U.S. election. It also dismissed U.S. allegations that it orchestrated campaigns to sway the 2016 and 2020 U.S. presidential elections.

(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in San Francisco; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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