Only a few years after Twitter and Facebook were celebrated as the spark for democratic movements worldwide, states and their proxies are hatching new forms of digitally enabled suppression that were unthinkable before the age of the social media giants, according to evidence collected from computer sleuths, researchers and documents across more than a dozen countries.
Combining virtual hate mobs, surveillance, misinformation, anonymous threats, and the invasion of victims’ privacy, states and political parties around the globe have created an increasingly aggressive online playbook that is difficult for the platforms to detect or counter.
Some regimes use techniques like those Russia deployed to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, while others are riffing in homegrown ways.
A new report from the Institute For the Future on “state-sponsored trolling” documents the rise and rise of government-backed troll armies who terrorize journalists and opposition figur…
Source: Authoritarians used to be scared of social media, now they rule it