Elections in the United States, Brazil, and Israel have been flooded with various forms of disinformation, usually spread through social media to question democratic processes.
A tsunami of fake news has hit Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube, whether it be fake photos designed to manipulate voters or so-called “deep fakes” or “hyperfake” videos. artificial intelligence technology that replaces one face with anotherThis is reported by the news agency France-Presse (AFP).
These platforms, which concentrate and connect millions of people around the world, are accused of not doing enough to deal with the threat.
Many US candidates in the November midterm elections used Donald Trump’s anti-Democratic tactics, made famous in the 2020 presidential election, in which the Republican claimed electoral fraud when he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.
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Contrary to the predictions of the Republicans, who expected “red wave” at intermediate termsmost of the candidates, “covered” by the former US president, suffered bitter defeats.
GOP leaders “seem to agree with the idea that acceptance of conspiracy theory led to poor selection of candidatesreduced voter mobilization, sowed mistrust among voters, among other evils,” said Mike Caulfield, a researcher at the Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington.
In Brazil, where left-wing candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva ran during the second round of incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro in late October, the campaign was rife with disinformation, according to the far-right politician. followed in Trump’s footstepsclaiming electoral fraud without providing evidence.
Lula was eventually elected president of Brazil, and polls showed that most Brazilians still trust electronic voting.
However, analysts warned that fight against disinformation far from victorious in Brazil.
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Also in Israel, Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu’s party, launched a “Stop Fraud” campaign as soon as the results were announced. The accusations were made by the party and its supporters, according to analysts, increase chances of winning elections.
“Likud spread allegations that the vote was rigged, that the Israeli Electoral Commission was controlled by the ‘deep state’.” senior officials secretly control the government apparatussaid Achiya Schatz of the anti-disinformation group FakeReporter.
Likud and its right-wing allies won a majority of seats in parliament, paving the way for Netanyahu’s return to power, who did not challenge the verdict in the elections.
The shadow of Donald Trump also hangs over Hungarian politics, where the April elections were rife with misinformation.
Far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party “made the most of its media control to disseminate factually incorrect or misleading statements and allegations against their opponents,” according to a study by the Hungarian research center “Political Capital”.
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Worldwide disinformation upward trend ahead of electionswhich undermines public confidence in democratic institutions and can lead to chaos, and some try to manipulate the results.
In the Philippines, media disinformation reached “unprecedented” levels during the May presidential election, while in Kenya, presidential candidates William Ruto and Raila Odinga were accused of recruiting digital “fighters” and “fake news” emerged a year later. elections.
Elections in Nigeria are set for next year, and similar tactics are starting to surface online.