- 14 November 2017
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Freedom House: state-backed "troll factories" operate in 30 countries
The American research organization Freedom House discovered state-backed "troll factories" / “troll farms” (companies that post content on social media on government orders) in 30 countries, stated the organization's report on Freedom on the Net.
Russia is not the only country that has a "troll factory": this kind of organizations are operating in Ukraine, Belarus, Mexico, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, China, Bahrain, Iran and the Philippines. The report says that some states, including Russia, use paid commentators to interfere in elections in other countries, but most often they focus on domestic politics.
"Paid commentators and political bots spreading state propaganda were first used by Russia and China, but now it has become global," said Freedom House President Michael Abramovich.
The report concluded that online manipulation and misinformation influenced elections in at least 18 countries.
The study included 65 states. Only 16 of them are free from government censorship and other restrictions. Most of the restrictions are in effect in China, and least of all in Estonia. Russia has become one of the Not Free countries.
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