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Reddit CEO Steve Huffman says there was "indirect propaganda" unwittingly amplified by thousands of Reddit users using information from the @TN_GOP Twitter account. (PxHere via MGN)

Reddit CEO says fake Russian Tennessee GOP Twitter account was amplified by users

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By ADRIAN MOJICA, WZTV

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) - Reddit CEO Steve Huffman says there was "indirect propaganda" unwittingly amplified by thousands of Reddit users using information from the @TN_GOP Twitter account.

Huffman posted a statement to the news aggregation site Monday titled, "In response to recent reports about the integrity of Reddit, I'd like to share our thinking."

Huffman says the company has been quiet so as to not tip its hand as it is investigating the situation. Huffman admits there were accounts on the site of Russian origin and "mostly American" users on Reddit unwittingly amplified the reach of information from the @TN_GOP Twitter account, which is now known to have been used by Russians for propaganda.

To this point, Huffman stated, "I believe the biggest risk we face as Americans is our own ability to discern reality from nonsense, and this is a burden we all bear."

Huffman also says the company is cooperating with congressional inquiries as members of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigate the use of social platforms by Russian agents.

The announcement from Huffman came the same day Tennessee lawmaker Mike Stewart called on the Tennessee Attorney General's Office to launch an investigation into the Tennessee Republican Party.

Stewart claims the party knew of the fake @TN_GOP account purporting to be its own but failed to report or take action until September 2016, just months before the presidential election.

“Are we really to believe that the Tennessee Republican Party watched as a popular Twitter account using the Tennessee GOP name spewed hatred, spewed openly racist tweets promoting racial and religious division and did absolutely nothing at all?” Stewart asked.

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Opponents say Stewart is trying to get cheap political points and it was impossible for the party to monitor every piece of content on social media.

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