July 18, 2019

Russia's Global Social Media Strategy

“Russia created a playbook for spreading disinformation on social media. Now the rest of the world is following it.

Twitter said on Thursday that countries including Bangladesh and Venezuela had been using social media to disseminate government talking points, while Facebook detailed a broad Iranian disinformation campaign that touched on everything from the conflict in Syria to conspiracy theories about the Sept. 11 attacks.

The campaigns tied to various governments — as well as privately held accounts in the United States — followed a pattern similar to Russian disinformation efforts before and after the 2016 presidential election. Millions of people were targeted by content designed to widen political and social divisions among Americans.

The global spread of social media disinformation comes in a year when major elections are set to take place in countries including India and Ukraine. Last year, social media disinformation played a role in a number of campaigns, including the highly contested presidential election in Brazil.”

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