The Battle for Bavaria: Online information campaigns in the 2018 Bavarian State Election

INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC DIALOGUE, FEBRUARY 2019

A combination of social media analysis, network mapping and investigative reporting carried out by ISD’s Digital Research Unit found that far-right conspiracy and misinformation networks used a suite of new and existing platforms to mobilise and coordinate election-related activities online and offline in the lead up to the Bavarian State elections in Germany in 2018.

The report also revealed that new transnational far-right communities are emerging in Europe and were actively spreading disinformation in tandem with transatlantic allies during the Bavarian State election. Despite evidence of foreign state interference in previous elections, the report found little identifiable Russian state activity in the Bavarian elections.

The report exposes the need for new norms in political campaigning in the age of social media. Shorter-term recommendations call for a combination of research and exposure of malign influence operations, improved advertising transparency and systematic enforcement of existing policies and commitments by the tech companies, which it suggests will be vital in order to mitigate the potential derailing of the forthcoming EU parliamentary elections.

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MENA Monitor: Arabic COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation Online

This report examines the nature and scale of COVID-19 vaccine mis- and disinformation among Arabic-language communities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) on Facebook. Included is a case study analysing the output of a dubious disinformation hub that masquerades as a think tank as well as detailed findings on leading trends within vaccine misinformation communities in MENA.

COVID-19 : aperçu de la défiance anti-vaccinale sur les réseaux sociaux

La présente étude présente une analyse quantitative et qualitative de la désinformation et des théories complotistes anti-vaccins repérées dans les contenus publiquement accessibles sur Twitter et Facebook entre le 1er août 2020 et le 1er février 2021, identifie les discours principaux, événements qui alimentent des pics de discussion en ligne et les acteurs les plus actifs dans la propagation de discours anti-vaccins.