30 Governments are Manipulating the Internet with Fake News
A study of social network manipulation found that of 65 surveyed countries, the governments of 30 of them found themselves active in targeting information in a false direction. The Freedom of the Web 2017 survey was conducted by Friedham House, reports bgnes.
Last year, governments that manipulated the information on the Internet were 23. The distortion of information takes place in various ways - paid commentators, trolls, "bots" - these are called automated pages in net - fake news sites and propaganda editions, according to the report of the Freedom House. The survey found that online manipulation and misinformation played an important role in the election in at least 18 countries in the past year, including the United States.
"The use of paid commentators and political bots for the dissemination of government propaganda was initiated by China and Russia but is now global," said Michael Abramovitch, president of Freedom House. "The effects of these rapidly spreading techniques on democracy and civic activism are potentially devastating." For the third consecutive year, they conclude from Freedom House, China is the biggest Internet freedom violator as a result of the increased Internet censorship, a new law that removes anonymity online and the imprisonment of dissidents using social networks.
Other countries are increasing their efforts to censor and manipulate information. This includes a "keyboard army" of people hired for 10 dollars a day by the Philippine government to create the impression of broad support for the authorities' brutal action against drug trafficking. In Turkey, authorities use about 6,000 people to work against government opponents in social networks.
Meanwhile, while Russia, which seeks to spread disinformation to influence the US and EU elections, the Kremlin tightens control over the Internet. Bloggers who have 3000 or more visits to their sites must register with the Russian government and adhere to the media regulation law. The survey found that governments in at least 14 countries are restricting Internet freedom in an attempt to cope with content manipulation. An example is a case in Ukraine where Russian-based services have been blocked, including the most widely used social networking and search engine in the country, in an attempt by Kiev to cope with Pro-Russian propaganda.
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