Rights Group: Governments Increasing Social Media Use to Influence Elections
A rights group reports that governments and individuals have sought to influence elections online in 26 of 30 national elections it studied.
Freedom House released the report about online influence on Monday – one day before elections in many parts of the United States. Some of the group's financing comes from the U.S. government.
The new report warns that internet-based election interference has become an important method for those seeking to attack democracy. It found that disinformation and propaganda were the most popular tools used to influence elections.
Freedom House studied how domestic governments have tried to influence their citizens. It also examined partisan actors who use online networks to spread misleading ideas. It said that such individuals often work with popular media personalities and business leaders.
"Many governments are finding that on social media, propaganda works better than censorship," said Mike Abramowitz, the president of Freedom House. He added that "authoritarians and populists around the globe" are using human nature and computer programs to harm free and fair elections.
Some of those seeking to influence elections had developed methods to defeat efforts by technology companies to fight false or misleading information, the report said.
For example, it noted that in the Philippines, candidates paid people on social media to support their campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The report noted that online disinformation was widely used during several political events in the United States, such as the 2018 elections. Another example was the U.S. Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Freedom House noted a rise in the number of governments using bots and false accounts to shape online opinions and hurt opponents. Such behavior was noted in 38 out of 65 countries that the report discussed.
Social media was also being increasingly used to watch citizens. The report said at least 40 countries have set up high-level social media monitoring programs.
Allie Funk is one of the writers of the report, called "Freedom on the Net 2019." She said the report had two main themes. One is efforts by governments to influence their own elections. The other is their efforts to "monitor their citizens."
But Funk added that government efforts to block the opposition sometimes have unexpected results. She said in Russia, online efforts to limit opposition candidates led to protesters' use of social media to organize.
I'm Mario Ritter Jr.
1.rights group 人权组织
The talks will extend to the church, human rights groups and other social organizations.
2.set up 建立
They set up a working party to look into the issue.
3.false accounts 虚假账户
Each accounting institute shall not establish the internal accounts, false accounts or batches of accounts.
4.Social Media 社交媒体
We have all witnessed the power of social media.
5.It said that such individuals often work with popular media personalities and business leaders.
work with 与...合作
You cannot expect to like all the people you will work with.
You'd be mad to work with him again.
6.She said in Russia, online efforts to limit opposition candidates led to protesters' use of social media to organize.
led to 导致
The laws led to confusion, muddle and years of delay.
This difference in approach has led to several political skirmishes.
周一，“自由之家”赶在美国多数地区选举的前一日发布了这份有关网络影响选举的报告 。该组织的部分资金来自美国政府 。
这份新报告警告称，基于互联网的大选干扰已经成为那些试图攻击民主者的重要手段 。报告还发现，虚假信息和宣传是影响选举的最常用招数 。
“自由之家”研究了国内政府如何设法影响公民 。它还调查了利用网络传播误导性思想的党派人士 。报告称，这些人经常与受欢迎的媒体人士和商界领袖共事 。
“自由之家”主席迈克·阿布拉莫维茨(Mike Abramowitz)表示，“许多政府发现，在社交媒体方面，宣传比审查更加高效” 。他补充说，“全球的威权主义者和民粹主义者”正在利用人性和电脑程序来危害自由公正的选举 。
报告指出，在美国的几次政治活动中，如2018年的选举，网络虚假信息被广泛使用 。另一个案例是最高法院大法官提名人布雷特·卡瓦诺（Brett Kavanaugh）的美国参议院听证会 。
“自由之家”指出，越来越多的政府利用程序和虚假账户来影响网络舆论，并中伤反对者 。在报告讨论的65个国家中，有38个国家被指存在这种行为 。
社交媒体也越来越多地被用来监视大众 。报告称，至少有40个国家建立了高水平的社交媒体监控项目 。
艾丽·芬克（Allie Funk）是这份名为《2019年网络自由》报告的作者之一 。她表示，报告有两大主题 。其一是政府试图影响本国选举 。另一个是他们试图“监视大众” 。
但是芬克补充说，政府阻止反对派的努力有时会产生意想不到的结果 。她说，在俄罗斯，网络上限制反对派候选人，结果却导致抗议者利用社交媒体组织活动 。