Social media manipulation as a political tool is spreading: https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2019/09/30/social-media-manipulation-as-a-political-tool-is-spreading/ #SE #InfoSec

"The use of computational propaganda to shape public attitudes via social media has become mainstream, extending far beyond the actions of a few bad actors. In an information environment characterized by high volumes of information and limited levels of user attention and trust, the tools and techniques of computational propaganda are becoming a common – and arguably essential – part of digital campaigning and public diplomacy."

Some key findings from the report:

  • 87% of countries use human-controlled accounts
  • 80% of countries use bot accounts
  • 11% of countries use cyborg accounts
  • 7% of countries use hacked/stolen accounts
  • 71% of these accounts spread pro-government or pro-party propaganda
  • 89% attack the opposition or mount smear campaigns
  • 34% spread polarizing messages designed to drive divisions within society
  • 75% of countries used disinformation and media manipulation to mislead users
  • 68% of countries use state-sponsored trolling to target political dissidents, the opposition or journalists
  • 73% amplify messages and content by flooding hashtags