Apparently, Russia has carried out several activities attributed to continuous disinformation, with the purpose of suppressing voter turnout in voting sessions, in addition to influencing their preferences.
A document, released by the European Union (EU), says that Russia is using social media in an attempt to influence its elections. They have stated that the country is in a continuous fight against misinformation, and that some progress has been made to prevent malicious campaigns, but the spread of false information is still there.
The document points out that the evidence gathered revealed a number of activities attributed to continuous and sustained disinformation by Russian sources, with the aim of suppressing voter turnout in voting sessions, as well as influencing their preferences.
The activities include contesting democratic legitimacy and to explore controversial topics such as immigration with people using images such as the fire of the Cathedral of Notre Dame to show the decline of the Western and Christian values of the EU.
‘‘They have also been quick to attribute the political crisis and the subsequent collapse of the government in Austria to the ‘European deep state’,‘German and Spanish Security Services’ and individuals. The spreading of stories about the irrelevance of European Parliament’s legislative powers and its control by lobbyists aimed to suppress the vote,’’ the report [PDF] said.
The numbers raised indicate that cases of misinformation attributed to Russian sources doubled between 2018 and 2019, jumping from about 430 in January 2018 to almost 1,000 the following year.
Last month, Europeans voted in parliamentary elections across the EU, an event that raised concerns about potential foreign influence operations. The document found that the European Union had successfully stopped many of these operations, but even so, they warned about the growth of this problem.