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More governments manipulate media with ‘bots,’ trolls, says study

More governments manipulate media with ‘bots,’ trolls, says study

The report said online manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role in elections in at least 18 countries over the past year, including the United States.

A study of internet freedom in 65 countries found 30 governments are deploying some form of manipulation to distort online information, up from 23 the previous year.

The report said online manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role in elections in at least 18 countries over the past year, including the United States.

“The use of paid commentators and political bots to spread government propaganda was pioneered by China and Russia but has now gone global,” said Michael Abramowitz, president of Freedom House.

The study also found governments in at least 14 countries restricted internet freedom in a bid to address content manipulation.

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