Covid-19 Disinformation and Social Media Manipulation: Automating Influence on Covid-19   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Introduction: "ASPI ICPC [Australian Strategic Policy Institute International Cyber Policy Centre] has investigated a campaign of cross-platform inauthentic activity, conducted by Chinese-speaking actors and broadly in alignment with the political goal of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to denigrate the standing of the US. This appears to be targeted primarily at Western and US-based audiences by artificially boosting legitimate media and social media content in order to amplify divisive or negative narratives about the US. This has included highlighting racial tensions, amplifying criticisms of the US's handling of the coronavirus crisis, and political and personal scandals linked to President Donald Trump. However, there's no clear indication of a partisan lean in this campaign. President Trump appears to be criticised in his capacity as a leader of the US rather than as a presidential candidate. [...] This activity is valuable as a case study because it highlights the ways in which social media platforms provide a vector for small-scale actors to engage in covert political influence campaigns targeting citizens and voters in other nations in ways that can complement state-driven propaganda. The investigation offers insights into behavioural patterns that can reveal coordinated inauthentic activity designed to drive influence, even when it is disguised through selective sharing of authentic content by accounts with profiles that offer a veneer of legitimacy."

2020 The Australian Strategic Policy Institute Limited
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