We are less than a week away from the European parliament election. While in the UK this is likely to involve a muddled, proxy referendum on Brexit, hundreds of millions of EU voters will be casting their vote on the union’s direction for the next five years. As campaigns across the continent enter this final straight, election monitors, charities and tech companies are keeping a worried eye on social media, searching for signs of malicious tampering by states – like Russia – who have a direct interest in the outcome of this process. Much of this work will deal with countering and correcting misinformation. Today, research from Demos shows that focusing on this part of the problem risks missing the vast majority of it: information operations go far beyond ‘fake news’.

 

Last year, Twitter released a dataset of activity by accounts they believed to be operating on behalf of the Russian state to carry out information operations – strategic, coordinated attempts to tamper with public arenas of discussion and information-sharing, with specific political or social aims in mind. These accounts were run by the now-infamous Saint Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, or IRA.

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Source: The EU elections are next week. Fake news is not the problem | WIRED UK