Voter manipulation on social media now a global problem, report finds

New research by the Oxford Internet Institute has found that social media manipulation is getting worse, with rising numbers of governments and political parties realise cynic consume of social media algorithms, automation and big data to operate public opinion at scale — with hugely obsessing consequences for democracy.

The report found that computational hype and social media manipulation have proliferated massively in recently years — now rife in more than double the number of countries( 70) vs 2 years ago( 28 ). An increase further 150%.

The research suggests that the spreading of forge news and toxic narratives has become the dysfunctional new’ normal’ for political actors in all regions of the world, thanks to social media’s world reach.

” Although publicity has always been a part of political debate, the deep and wide-ranging scope of these expeditions collect critical public interest concerns ,” the reportwarns.

The researchers go on to dub the world-wide uptake of computational publicity implements and techniques a” critical menace” to democracies.

” The give of computational publicity to condition public postures via social media has become mainstream, widening far beyond the implementation of a few cases bad actors ,” they lend.” In an information surrounding characterized by high volumes of information and limited levels of user attention and trust, the tools and techniques of computational propaganda are becoming a common- and arguably all-important- part of digital campaigning and public diplomacy .”

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