Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have become a tool for the spreading of propaganda, found a new study released Monday by the University of Oxford. The study was conducted across nine countries, including the US, China and Russia.
The report found social media to be “significant platforms for political engagement” and “crucial channels for disseminating news content” where efforts are put into swaying opinion. One example cited of the US includes using bots to give the illusion of significant online popularity so as to build real political support.
The proliferation of fake news has been a huge concern for countries around the world. The fake news phenomenon was put in the spotlight amid CrossCheck project ahead of the French elections earlier this year to verify news stories. In April, Facebook also outlined the steps it’s taking to combat alternative facts.that it helped put President Trump in the White House. Consequently, Google and Facebook launched the
The most powerful way to spread propaganda involves the cooperation between “bots and trolls,” according to the study. This is most apparent in China, where the spread of propaganda over social media is “heavily coordinated.”
Germany was found to be a “leader” in the battle against the spread of fake news over social media, with regulation set to be implemented across the country by summer as well as “numerous civil society watchdog projects.”
CNET has reached out to the University for further insights.
Special Reports: CNET’s in-depth features in one place.
Technically Literate: Original works of short fiction with unique perspectives on tech, exclusively on CNET.