Social media manipulation of public opinion is a growing threat to democracies around the world, according to the 2020 media manipulation survey from the Oxford Internet Institute, which found evidence in every one of the 80+ countries surveyed.
Organised social media manipulation campaigns were found in each of the 81 surveyed countries, up 15% in one year, from 70 countries in 2019. Governments, public relations firms and political parties are producing misinformation on an industrial scale, according to the report. It shows disinformation has become a common strategy, with more than 93% of the countries (76 out of 81) seeing disinformation deployed as part of political communication.
Professor Philip Howard, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, and the report’s co-author says, ‘Now, more than ever, the public needs to be able to rely on trustworthy information about government policy and activity. Social media companies need to raise their game by increasing their efforts to flag misinformation and close fake accounts without the need for government intervention, so the public has access to high-quality information.’
Read the full story on ox.ac.uk