Articles on Social media and democracy

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Days before their Oct. 28 presidential election, Brazilians protested news that supporters of right-wing front-runner Jair Bolsonaro had used WhatsApp to spread false information about his opponents. Reuters/Nacho Doce

WhatsApp skewed Brazilian election, proving social media’s danger to democracy

Facebook retired its 'Move fast and break things' slogan – perhaps because, as new research from Brazil confirms, democracy is among the things left broken by online misinformation and fake news.
As Americans go to the polls, the voting process and the information environment are still not secure. AP Photo/David Goldman

Threats remain to US voting system – and voters’ perceptions of reality

Protecting democracy requires more than just technical solutions. It includes education, critical thinking and members of society working together to agree on problems and find solutions.
Adding bots into an online discussion can definitely affect the views of real people. Tatiana Shepeleva/Shutterstock.com

Even a few bots can shift public opinion in big ways

Measuring Twitter bots' effects on the opinions of real people can yield surprising results about what makes them influential.
Do you want to be friends with this person? Sasun Bughdaryan

Why do so many people fall for fake profiles online?

Almost every online deception, fraud and scam – even propaganda and misinformation campaigns – begins with a fake social media profile. How do fakers get real people to agree to be friends?
Civic groups like the Boy Scouts are likely under attack by Russian agents – and likely don’t know it. Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com

Why the Russians might hack the Boy Scouts next

Russia is trying to create social tension in the US to boost its own strength on the world stage. That includes targeting society itself.

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