At Least 70 Countries Have Had Disinformation Campaigns, Study Finds
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: October 6th, 2019
In Vietnam, citizens were enlisted to post pro-government messages on their personal Facebook pages. The Guatemalan government used hacked and stolen social media accounts to silence dissenting opinions. Ethiopias ruling party hired people to influence social media conversations in its favor. Despite increased efforts by internet platforms like Facebook to combat internet disinformation, the use of the techniques by governments around the world is growing, according to a report released Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. Governments are spreading disinformation to discredit political opponents, bury opposing views and interfere in foreign affairs. The researchers compiled ... one of the most comprehensive inventories of disinformation practices by governments around the world. They found that the number of countries with political disinformation campaigns more than doubled to 70 in the last two years, with evidence of at least one political party or government entity in each of those countries engaging in social media manipulation. Facebook remains the No. 1 social network for disinformation, the report said. Organized propaganda campaigns were found on the platform in 56 countries. Governments have used cyber troops to shape public opinion, including networks of bots to amplify a message, groups of trolls to harass political dissidents or journalists, and scores of fake social media accounts to misrepresent how many people engaged with an issue.
Note: This article completely fails to mention the U.S., which has one of the most sophisticated disinformation programs in the world, yet because the "black budget" for this is so well hidden, few know the extent to which citizens are manipulated both in the U.S. and worldwide. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.