Your government is probably manipulating you on social media

Your government is probably manipulating you on social media

The report follows attempts by Russia to meddle with the USA presidential election between June 2015 and May 2017, when adverts paid for by a Russian organization called the "Internet Research Agency" appeared on American citizens' Facebook pages in an apparent bid to fuel political discord.

"Governments are now using social media to suppress dissent and advance an anti-democratic agenda", said Sanja Kelly, director of the Freedom on the Net project.

The 48-page "Freedom on the Net 2017" report by Freedom House, an organization dedicated to research of democracy and political freedom, says that elections in at least 18 countries in 2017 included significant roles played by online disinformation tactics.

Russia, which ranked 15th-worst, saw a decline in Internet freedom bolstered by the "hypocritical link between state propaganda and legal restrictions on the media", while countries like Belarus, which ranked 18th-worst, disrupted mobile connectivity to prevent live-streamed images from reaching mass audiences, the report said. Most governments targeted public opinion within their own borders, the report stated.

But Russia isn't alone in these practices.

The report shows that the lowest "internet freedom" score - perhaps unsurprisingly - goes to China, but regimes in Turkey, Sudan, Venezuela and the Philippines are also poor performers.

Governments are increasing efforts to manipulate information on social media, a Washington-based advocacy group said Tuesday.

More news: Mozilla Brings Competition to Google Chrome With New Firefox Quantum Browser

Almost half of the 65 countries assessed in Freedom on the Net 2017 experienced declines during the coverage period, while just 13 made gains, majority minor, Freedom House reported.

Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House, said: "The use of paid commentators and political bots to spread government propaganda was pioneered by China and Russian Federation but has now gone global".

"The effects of these rapidly spreading techniques on democracy and civic activism are potentially devastating."
At least 16 countries had "prominent examples of fake news around elections or referendums". Those attempts were often made to stop the broadcast of anti-government demonstrations.

Political mudslinging is a concept as old as politics itself, but in recent years it's found its way off the podium and onto the internet, and a new report now shows the extent of the problem.

"Internet freedom improved in Georgia this year as internet penetration increased, and despite a brief blocking incident involving video-hosting platform Vimeo, the internet remained relatively free from censorship", the report reads.

Governments in at least 14 countries were accused of actually restricting internet freedom to fend off content manipulation.

  • Were Analysts Bullish Callon Petroleum Company (NYSE:CPE) This Week?

    The Callon Petroleum Company has Relative Strength Index (RSI 14) of 58.62 along with Average True Range (ATR 14) of 0.45. New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its position in shares of Callon Petroleum by 3.3% during the 3rd quarter.

    The Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) Stock Rating Reaffirm by Macquarie

    Over the last three months, the shares of the company have changed 1.79% and performed 11.68% over the last six months. The rating scale runs from 1 to 5 with 5 indicating a Strong Sell, 1 indicating a Strong Buy and 3 indicating a Hold.
    Tennessee State Player Expelled From School After Punching Coach on Sideline

    Tennessee State Player Expelled From School After Punching Coach on Sideline

    Can't see the video above? According to the report, Greenstone was trying to keep players from getting too close to the field. Greenstone previously played for Vanderbilt from 2007-2011 and has been coaching for the Tigers for the past four seasons.
  • Theresa May accuses Russian Federation  of election meddling, 'planting fake stories'

    Theresa May accuses Russian Federation of election meddling, 'planting fake stories'

    Addressing the Lord Mayor's Banquet at the City of London's Guildhall last night, May told Moscow: "We know what you are doing". She also accused Moscow of trying to "weaponise information" and planting fake stories to "sow discord in the West".
    McLaren sets gold standard in Dubai

    McLaren sets gold standard in Dubai

    Making its official debut at the Dubai Motor Show , this McLaren 720S was commissioned as a bespoke creation. Exterior upgrades replace the front splitter, air intakes, rear bumper and roof with carbonfibre units.

    Alliancebernstein LP Lowers Its Holdings in Salesforce.Com Inc (CRM) Last Quarter

    Investors will be getting a good grip in comparing the current earnings of the company to estimated future earnings. The firm declared -4% change to end the trade at $8.40, with the overall traded capacity of 2.98 Million shares.
  • Bangladesh youths beat India to top group

    Bangladesh youths beat India to top group

    Bangladesh's opening pair of Pinak Ghosh and Mohammad Naim Sheikh provided a solid 82-run partnership to dent India's hopes. Meanwhile, in Group B, Afghanistan joined Pakistan in the semi-finals by comprehensively beating UAE by 134 runs.
    U.S.  security team in Israel to discuss Syrian border deal

    U.S. security team in Israel to discuss Syrian border deal

    Curtiss Scaparrotti, head of the USA army's European Command, and discuss Iranian moves in Syria. Israel has largely stayed out of the war but has struck suspected weapon convoys to Hezbollah.

    Nintendo Making Animated Mario Movie With Studio Behind Minions

    Mario and Luigi have appeared on the big screen before, in a 1994 live-action film starring Bob Hoskins. Having said that, there is no guarantee that this deal will be finalized.
  • $2.02 EPS Expected for Bank of Montreal (BMO)

    Highstreet Asset Management Inc. owned approximately 0.11% of Bank Of Montreal worth $54,833,000 as of its most recent SEC filing. Brookstone Capital Management acquired a new stake in shares of Bank Of Montreal during the third quarter worth $352,000.
    United Bank net loss at RS 345 crore

    United Bank net loss at RS 345 crore

    Income from other sources were up 11.20 per cent to Rs 1,737 crore. ET Now poll had predicted net profit of Rs 1,220 in Q2FY18.
    American Heart Association seeks little hat donations

    American Heart Association seeks little hat donations

    The organisers also ask that volunteers don't add bows and buttons as they can come off the hats and be risky for the babies. Little Hats, Big Hearts started in February 2014 in Chicago, IL collecting 300 hats in the first year.