The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Myth of Social-Media ‘Meddling’

Posted on | November 3, 2019 | 1 Comment

In the most recent Canadian election, a lot of media coverage was devoted to hyping fears of “foreign interference” on social media. Researchers found that this didn’t really happen:

Now that the election is over and researchers have combed through the data collected, their conclusion is clear: there was more talk about foreign trolls during the campaign than there was evidence of their activities.
Although there were a few confirmed cases of attempts to deceive Canadians online, three large research teams devoted to detecting co-ordinated influence campaigns on social media report they found little to worry about.
In fact, there were more news reports about malicious activity during the campaign than traces of it.
“We didn’t see high levels of effective disinformation campaigns. We didn’t see evidence of effective bot networks in any of the major platforms. Yet, we saw a lot of coverage of these things,” said Derek Ruths, a professor of computer science at McGill University in Montreal.
He monitored social media for foreign meddling during the campaign and, as part of the Digital Democracy Project, scoured the web for signs of disinformation campaigns.
“The vast majority of news stories about disinformation overstated the results and represented them as far more conclusive than they were. It was the case everywhere, with all media,” he said.
It’s a view mirrored by the Ryerson Social Media Lab, which also monitored social media during the campaign.
“Fears of foreign and domestic interference were overblown,” Philip Mai, co-director of the Social Media Lab, told CBC News.

Gosh, it’s like “Russian collusion” was a hoax or something.



One Response to “The Myth of Social-Media ‘Meddling’”

  1. If All You See… » Pirate's Cove
    November 4th, 2019 @ 2:01 pm

    […] blog of the day is The Other McCain, with a post on the myth of social media […]