Discussion
10 Oct - 4 Nov 2022

Defining the problem

Clara Raven
Clara Raven • 4 October 2022

This consultation is now closed.
 

Read the Summary Report: Promoting Information Integrity in Elections.
 

You can now check out more on the UNDP's Oslo Governance Centre Information Integrity Portfolio here and about the Action Coalition on Information Integrity here

Thank you to all participants around the globe who shared their valuable knowledge and expertise in this SparkBlue ‘Promoting Information in Elections’ e-discussion hosted by UNDP Oslo Governance Centre and the Action Coalition on Information Integrity in Elections

We had contributions from across 25 countries, sharing learning and best practice from a range of electoral contexts. These have helped sharpen our thoughts and created “a pool of wisdom” that is now guiding the programmatic guidance paper on Information Integrity in Elections. This will be presented at multiple global forums, disseminated by the Action Coalition members and participating experts, and will be the first of its kind: A consensus-led guidance on addressing election disinformation in a technological age.

A special thank you to the fantastic discussion moderators from member organisations of the Action Coalition:  Ingrid Bicu Niamh Hanafin, Hedda Oftung, Anneliese Mcauliffe, Jiore Craig, Petra Alderman, Professor Nic Cheeseman, Vusumuzi Sifile,  Mirna Ghanem, Carolyne Wilhelm, Bianca Lapuz, Clara Raven, Gilbert Sendugwa.

Member organizations of the Action Coalition:

  • UNDP  
  • Africa Centre for Freedom of Information    
  • Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability and Representation (CEDAR), Birmingham University   
  • Institute for Strategic Dialogue    
  • International IDEA   
  • Samir Kassir Foundation   
  • Panos Institute Southern Africa    
  • Maharat Foundation  

Following the e-discussion, here are the next steps:

  • In-Depth Consultations: We continue to consult with individual UNDP teams, other UN entities, partners, donors, and thematic experts to further sharpen the guidance paper on how the Action Coalition can best respond to enhance information integrity in elections
  • Validate our findings:  We will be hosting a virtual event which will run through the findings of the guidance paper and ensure that the final paper is consensus-led guidance.
  • Programmatic Guidance Paper: By the end of 2022, we will have a final programmatic guidance paper on addressing information integrity in elections.  We hope to share this with contributors to this consultation before promoting during early 2023.
     
  • You can continue the exchange thoughts or contributions to this topic by contacting UNDP Oslo Governance Centre, Niamh Hanafin (niamh.hanafin@undp.org) or Clara Raven (clara.raven@undp.org)


 

Introduction

Disinformation is a serious threat to the legitimacy of elections and therefore to democracy as a whole. When ill-intentioned actors deliberately spread false information before, during or after elections, it erodes trust in the institutions that are critical to a functioning democracy. 
Disinformation tactics have become a low cost, low risk way to sway public opinion, delegitimise elections and election organisers, and suppress voter turnout. In addition, disinformation stokes chaos and division at the very moment when tensions are high and risk of violence is elevated. We want to understand how this manifests in different countries and contexts.
 

Questions:

  1. How are you seeing technology enable electoral disinformation in your context?
     
  2. What are the challenges in detecting and addressing electoral disinformation?
     
  3. What legal and institutional gaps and limitations are contributing to this problem?
     
  4. What real and potential impacts on electoral processes concern you most?


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Comments (28)

Hedda Oftung
Hedda Oftung Moderator

Week 2 summary

Dear all,

Thank you for joining this discussion room! Kindly see a summary of key points made by our contributors Alessandro Ercolani and Bigambia Bitimi this week:  

1. Regulatory frameworks tend to be reactive to technological developments. There is a need to review and strengthen current regulatory frameworks. In this regard, the need to enforce rules, ensure independent regulatory agencies and police was, among other things, was underscored. 
2. Sofware companies that monitor disinformation are facing a range of political barriers when trying to operate in contexts of elections.   
3. There is a need to develop a skilled workforce, particularly in global south contexts, to support disinformation tracking. To address this, it was proposed to support greater exchange of knowledge, and to increase investments in training by governments and independent organizations.  

Thank you for your input. These are all important points for getting a deeper understanding of the issue at stake. I hope we can use the coming weeks to examine several of these issues further!

All the best, 
Hedda

Harriet Dwyer
Harriet Dwyer

1.           How are you seeing technology enable electoral disinformation in your context?

  • The growing capacity around social listening as an additional tool is encouraging however it is not a panacea and its use it extremely complex, costly, and ethically fraught. A gap in using these tools also exists in matching the spread of disinformation and its real impact on human behaviour.

2.           What are the challenges in detecting and addressing electoral disinformation?

  • Capacity: Trusted, independent entities that can play a role in electoral processes of the scale needed to tackle disinformation
  • A way forward: After identifying its presence, how do you correct misinformation and disinformation and preserve the electoral processes?

3.           What legal and institutional gaps and limitations are contributing to this problem?

  • Legal frameworks that hold social media companies more strongly to account
  • Adequate content management of disinformation by social media companies

4.           What real and potential impacts on electoral processes concern you most?

As we watch democratic backsliding occur in many contexts around the world, I am most concerned about the aftermath of impacted electoral processes. What the undermining of electoral processes and its contribution to electoral outcomes translates into when it then comes to governing, especially for the most vulnerable community groups.

Clara Raven
Clara Raven Moderator

Thank you, Harriet, a great start to this discussion. We would be very interested to hear from people who have employed large social listening during electoral cycles and what obstacles (if any) they have faced, and if these were context specific. You make a good point that this in many ways as enabled us to understand the information landscape and the narratives from that context but is it undermined because of the huge ethical challenges it presents? 

And in your last point, a good reminder that critical to our conversations are the most vulnerable communities. 

Clara Raven
Clara Raven Moderator

Greetings friends and colleagues, welcome to this discussion room on week 1. Thank you for taking the time to join the conversation, it is great to have you here! 

My name is Clara Raven and I provide programme support for Information Integrity at UNDP's Oslo Governance Centre.  I'll be moderating this room all this week.

The problem of information integrity is context specific, affecting different groups to varying degrees and in different ways. In this room we want explore the problem of information integrity in electoral contexts and how technology enabled solutions are working (or are not) within different settings.   

How do we start to ensure greater transparency during elections in radically different contexts, to ensure that we know the source of what we are reading, who has paid for it and why the information has been sent to us?

If you are working to tackle information integrity by using AI to identify false or misleading information, implementing in-person media literacy work in schools or working to influence regulation of social media companies - however you approach it we want to hear from you.

This discussion is open to the public and all contributions are welcome.  The questions above provide some guidance but if you have thoughts beyond those, please feel free to share.  We're looking to hear from researchers, journalists, civil society actors, electoral commissions, UN agencies, tech companies and of course voters. 

Please indicate the question(s) you are answering in your comment, feel free to introduce yourself too. Looking forward to a great discussion...

 

Melody Azinim
Melody Azinim
  1. How are you seeing technology enable electoral disinformation in your context?
    Technology has made the spread of fake news faster, within a short period the message is everywhere and in some cases translated in local languages reaching more people. People hide behind the internet to defame and discredit  people and institutions respectively. 
  2. What are the challenges in detecting and addressing electoral disinformation? Identifying the people behind the fake accounts is a challenge, institutions do not have the needed capacity 
  3. What legal and institutional gaps and limitations are contributing to this problem?
    When institutions are not sharing the needed information on a timely basis on their own media platforms. Lack of dedicated unit and investment to manage the media and communication offices especially the social media pages. Limited or  no regulations for social media activities 
  4. What real and potential impacts on electoral processes concern you most? it can limit the number of people participating in the electoral process example registration or voting
Clara Raven
Clara Raven Moderator

Welcome Melody, we are delighted to see you here in the discussion! Thank you for your comments.

Within your context, how does messaging tend to spread i.e which platforms are people using / trusting to receive information?

Your comment on translation to local languages is a very important one - particularly within linguistically diverse communities. Minority languages are often under-resourced by both platforms and fact checking organizations, making it even more difficult to tackle misinformation and build up media literacy in these communities. Are there any examples of best practice in this context? Perhaps other members of the discussion can contribute if they have examples. 

Melody Azinim
Melody Azinim

Within your context, how does messaging tend to spread i.e which platforms are people using / trusting to receive information?

People turn to use social media facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter , Instagram to share information  and especially for the first two that are very popular with many people. there is also radio that serves many people especially in the rural areas who relay on it for information.

Fact checking organisations should be supported to reach to also target minority ethnic groups

Use of local information vans, community market information centres are also ways to share accurate information, providing avenues for information verification 

Clara Raven
Clara Raven Moderator

Week One Summary

Dear all,

Thanks so much for starting this discussion room! There are several areas that we could examine further over the coming weeks. Contributors have touched upon some important points.

Kindly find below a quick summary: 

  1. Capacity of institutions to beable to respond to the threat of disinformation (Harriet Dwyer Melody Azinim ) we need trusted, independent entities that can play a role in electoral processes, but these institutions do not yet operate at the scale needed to tackle disinformation.
  2. Digital technology can support and accelerate our understanding of disinformation, but it comes with challenges. Social listening as an additional tool, but complex, costly, and ethically fraught.
  3. Disinformation is context specific, affecting different groups to varying degrees and in different ways. One example mentioned is the difficulty and availability of fact checking initiatives operating in minority languages.
  4. How reliable information should be delivered WhatsApp and Facebook of course are important sources for people, but offline methods such as local information vans, community market information centres are crucial as pointed out by Melody Azinim 
  5. Vulnerable communities need to be at the centre of the conversation on the problem of information integrity and subsequently the solutions.

Looking forward to further engaging with you on this next week. 

Have a great weekend! 

 

Hedda Oftung
Hedda Oftung Moderator

Greetings!

Thank you to Clara Raven for moderating this room for the first week and to all of you for taking the time to join the conversation. It is great to have you all here!  

My name is Hedda Oftung, and I work as a project support officer on the Tech for Democracy project at the UNDP Nordic Office. I will be the moderator of this room for the second week.

As well summarized by Clara, I am happy to see that we have already received excellent input from colleagues. I hope we can continue to dive deeper into the problem of information integrity in election contexts in the coming week.

The below questions provide some guidance. However, thoughts beyond these are also more than welcome.

  • How are you seeing technology enable electoral disinformation in your context?
  • What are the challenges in detecting and addressing electoral disinformation?
  • What legal and institutional gaps and limitations are contributing to this problem?
  • What real and potential impacts on electoral processes concern you most? 

Please note that this discussion is open to the public and all contributions are welcome, so please also share with colleagues and partners that you think would benefit from being part of this conversation. Feel free to also use the language that you are most comfortable in by selecting your preferred language in the right corner of this page. 

Please indicate the question(s) you are answering in your comment, and feel free to introduce yourself. I am looking forward to continuing the discussion!
 

Alessandro Ercolani
Alessandro Ercolani

Thanks for moderating Hedda Oftung ! My name is Alessandro and I am a programme analyst in UNDP's Governance Team. I would like to address one specific question among the ones you posed (and to really just add to what others said above), namely "What legal and institutional gaps and limitations are contributing to this problem?".

Legal and policy frameworks that are blind to the threats that technology poses to democracy are direct enablers of electoral disinformation. Before/and in addition to monitoring disinformation and information pollution in electoral contexts, a key step to take is a review of the regulatory frameworks in which key actors -- relevant in electoral processes -- operate (including but not limited to social media and news outlet). For example, devising regulatory frameworks that provide accountability of social media platforms for content that is disseminated through their platforms is surely key to ensure support from these actors in tackling disinformation. 

A major issue with that, is the slow pace of law and policy making processes compared to developments in tech and digital tools used for information sharing. The likelihood of laws and policies to simply react to new threats posed by technology is very high, including with respect to disinformation in electoral contexts.  

 

Hedda Oftung
Hedda Oftung Moderator

Dear Alessandro Ercolani, 

Thank you for your comment and for underscoring the need to strengthening regulatory frameworks and pointing to the critical importance of findings ways to work more proactively to address this issue. I would be curious to hear what others are thinking in this regard. How can we work more proactively? Are there any good examples out there that we can draw inspiration from? And what are the key concerns that this bring?

Eager to hear other members thoughts on this!  

Bigambia Bitimi
Bigambia Bitimi

Hi to Everyone, i am Bigambia Bitimi Charles from Cameroon, independent consultant/student at the university of Douala.

Technology has increased the electoral disinformation in the context where the world is facing a new positioning of emerging countries to lead the world. 

Powerful countries uses hacking software such as pagassus, which infiltrate countries of low power, this is to influence the voting result. 

Also, in a context where many population in many countries are anxious to create instability caused by such electoral disinformation inorder to push out their leader and Hence causing war. 

Bigambia Bitimi
Bigambia Bitimi

Challenges in detecting and adressing electoral disinformation are much. From m'y own point of view the first challenge is the lack of well equiped and trainined expert on the domained of disinformation tracking (mostly in developing countries). 

The second challenge relies on the political barriers at the entering of a particular software that may monitored this disinformation.  This is because all the political actors engaged in an electoral process usually play with disinformation in other to either gain in popularity or creating an atmosphere of doubt withing the voters. 

The third challenge is the lack of regulatory and solide framework work on disformation of electoral processes. 

Hedda Oftung
Hedda Oftung Moderator

Dear Bigambia,

Great to see you in the discussion! I think your point about the need for developing a skilled workforce that can work to address this challenge is very important. What could be good incentives for this in your context? You are also, similar to Alessandro Ercolani, underscoring the importance of developing solid regulatory frameworks. How should such frameworks look like? What specifically are the gaps, and are there any good examples of what has been working? Perhaps other members have specific examples of this as well!

Hedda 

Bigambia Bitimi
Bigambia Bitimi

From my humble point of view, good incentives of well traine skilled personnel for this in our context ; is the creation of independent organisation that will will traine and skilled personnel with tools to face such disinformation disorder. 

Secondly, most governments should implement such training in schools and universities so as to start with renforcement capacities before reaching high level. 

Thirdly, Sharing of technology withing nations will facilitate tools and skills acquirements. 

Concerning regulatory framework, state must build up solid and strong rules concerning the violation of informations sharing. 

Creation of independent regulatory agency and police that will manage such disinformation issues. 

Also regional committee can equally be created in order to implement strong law to govern the region. 

Nic Cheeseman
Nic Cheeseman Moderator

Hi All, it is great to be a part of this discussion, and Petra and I are very excited to be the moderators for week three. I am Nic Cheeseman, the Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham, and the Director of the Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability and Representation. In addition to my academic roles, I run a policy/research collaboration with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and regularly advise on different aspects of elections around the world.

I have done quite a lot of research on social media and misinformation over the last few years, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa.  If you are interested in this, you might like to check out this piece on the use (and abuse) of WhatsApp in elections in Nigeria, for example:

https://www.journalofdemocracy.org/articles/social-media-disruption-nig… 

My research has raised a number of questions that I would be interested in exploring in greater detail, including:

- who is actually creating disinformation? Is it parties and candidates themselves? Or is it happening one step removed?

- who can most effectively intervene? Domestic governments? Multinational companies?  International donors? Or does it need to be a combination of all of these?

- what role can digital technology play in tackling disinformation? What kinds of positive examples are you aware of where tech has provided the solution as well as generating the problem?

I will let Petra say more about content and focus of this week, and will look forward to engaging with the discussion as the week progresses!

Take care,

Nic 

 

Petra Alderman
Petra Alderman Moderator

Thank you, Clara Raven and Hedda Oftung, for moderating this room for the first two weeks and Nic for the kind introductions.

My name is Petra Alderman and I am a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Birmingham and a member of the Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability and Representation. I’m very excited to be moderating this room alongside Nic for the rest of this week.

I can see from the summaries by Clara and Hedda that we have already had a lot of great discussion in this room over the past two weeks. Nic and I hope that we can continue to engage with this important topic of electoral disinformation further.

The questions below provide a good starting point for the discussion, but please feel free to share your thoughts/reflections beyond these questions.

  1. How are you seeing technology enable electoral disinformation in your context?
     
  2. What are the challenges in detecting and addressing electoral disinformation?
     
  3. What legal and institutional gaps and limitations are contributing to this problem?
     
  4. What real and potential impacts on electoral processes concern you most?

Please note that this discussion is open to the public and all contributions are welcome, so please also share with colleagues and partners that you think would benefit from being part of this conversation. Feel free to also use the language that you are most comfortable in by selecting your preferred language in the right corner of this page. 

Please indicate the question(s) you are answering in your comment, and feel free to introduce yourself.

Nic and I looking forward to continuing the discussion!

Bigambia Bitimi
Bigambia Bitimi

Legal and institutional gaps are many. I can't really expantiate on these limitations and gaps because i dont really have a good knowledge about my country election code. But i can pronouce myself on this particular Gap where a particular voter register in his city of residence, who can't vote in a different city if he or she wasn't registered there. This has pushed me to self question on the fact that registration are said to be biometric and how manage we can't vote in different city ?!. That's a very good issue because voter are not allowed to express themself from a different city. 

Petra Alderman
Petra Alderman Moderator

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, Bigambia. Could you maybe elaborate a bit more on how you see this contributing to disinformation, please? I'm wondering whether based on what you describe above, there is possibly an issue of public mistrust in the use of some electoral technology which might lead to/fuel the spread of disinformation, as well.

Bigambia Bitimi
Bigambia Bitimi

Thanks very much. This can contribute to this disformation by fact that a some may complain that thier voters voters didn't had possibility to vote, while it was simply because thier voter were unable to reach thier voting center. 

Due to the assymetric informations sharing between election managers and the different stakeholders, disformation may result. 

Petra Alderman
Petra Alderman Moderator

Thank you for elaborating on your comment, Bigambia! This is a great insight that points to the importance of regular and transparent communication and information sharing. 

Petra Alderman
Petra Alderman Moderator

Week 3 Summary

Dear all, 

Thank you for engaging with the conversation in this room! Bigambia Bitimi  has raised a couple of additional points this week that deserve further consideration:

  1. In some instances, disinformation is a product of a communication gap between the public and key electoral stakeholders. 
  2. Sometimes, this gap might be linked to poor understanding of digital technology and electronic processes used in elections.

Thank you for your input, Bigambia. These are really important points and it would be great to see more engagement on them next week.

All the best,

Nic and Petra

Jdensley
Jdensley

Qs: How are you seeing technology enable electoral disinformation in your context? What are the challenges in detecting and addressing electoral disinformation?

A: Social media companies are precisely that: companies. They have a singular interest in creating shareholder value. More human attention and engagement means more advertising dollars (the primary source of income in the absence of subscription and usage fees) and platforms are designed to profit from a form of confirmation bias, the natural human tendency to seek, “like,” and share new information in accordance with preexisting beliefs. To keep us online, they rely on adaptive algorithms that assess our interests and flood us with content that is similar to what we liked before. Algorithms promote content that sparks outrage and amplify biases within the data that users feed them. Personalized search results based on past click behavior and history create “filter bubbles” that silence outside voices.

Q: What legal and institutional gaps and limitations are contributing to this problem?

A: The root of the problem is really public trust in institutions, namely government authorities (from the police to the politicians) and the media. When trust is low, the public is more suspectable to misinformation and disinformation. This is where governance and accountability are key. Relatedly, societies that do not teach or practice critical thinking and media literacy from an early age struggle with misinformation and disinformation. So, there are gaps in public education that contribute to the problem also. 

Legally, tech companies are treated as platforms for, not publishers of, third-party content, hence they are loosely regulated in the interests of preserving free speech and open debate. The question is, to what extent do platforms have editorial control and oversight? When social media sites let extremists’ profiles and propaganda remain active, they lend credibility to their online communities, making fringe groups, individuals, and ideas appear “normal”. Further, platforms are beholden to their own internal hate speech policies as private companies. The decision about whether to remove content or ban a user falls largely on hired content moderators, who manually review any flagged material using predefined guidelines.

Q: What real and potential impacts on electoral processes concern you most?

When political candidates fail to concede losses and challenge every legitimate result as evidence of fraud and manipulation. Sowing the seeds of doubt is the problem - it undermines trust in institutions further, which is the source of the problem in the first place. 

Mirna Ghanem
Mirna Ghanem Moderator

Dear Jdensley, thank you for your comment and insightful contribution to the discussion!

I think the issue with social media algorithms is a very important point to address, in particular in the case of languages other than English. In this regard, NGOs and CSOs play an essential role in pushing forward policy changes on giant tech companies. How can these challenges be addressed, in your opinion?

I completely agree with your point about poor media literacy being one of the main contributors to the disinformation issue. Based on the work that I have done so far on countering disinformation, improving media literacy from an early age proved to be one of the best practices with the most impact. Could you elaborate on this point and share the best practices within the context you work in? In particular when it comes to the impact on electoral processes.

Mirna Ghanem
Mirna Ghanem Moderator

Greetings everyone! I am delighted to be the moderator of this room for week four.

I am Mirna Ghanem, and I work as a senior researcher at the Samir Kassir Foundation (SKeyes’ Center) in Lebanon. My work mainly focuses on monitoring media content to detect hate speech and disinformation in the Middle East and North Africa.

As a guide to kick off this week’s discussion and build on the inputs from the last three weeks, please continue to address the below questions. However, please feel free to share your thoughts beyond these questions.

  • How are you seeing technology enable electoral disinformation in your context?
  • What are the challenges in detecting and addressing electoral disinformation?
  • What legal and institutional gaps and limitations are contributing to this problem?
  • What real and potential impacts on electoral processes concern you most?

Please note that you can use the language of your choice by selecting your preferred language in the right corner of this page. Also, feel free to introduce yourself and remember to indicate the questions you are answering in your comment.

Looking forward to reading your comments and delving further into the discussion!

Jasmin Gilera
Jasmin Gilera

1. How are you seeing technology enable electoral disinformation in your context?

            There are five strategies and techniques that may be used to enable electoral disinformation:

            a. False profiles, anonymous users, troll and bots generate more traffic and or try to silence certain opinions depending on the motivation of the instigators.

            b. Information Operation – entail the collection of tactical information and the dissemination of propaganda inorder to try to gain competitive advantage over an opponent. Similar concept is that of influence campaigns which try to achieve strategic and/or geopolitical outcome like an electoral result.

            c.Use of misleading accounts to share and promote content relies on micro targeting. Micro targeting involves people’s online behavior and using the collected data sometimes enriched with other data. It is used to display individually targeted political advertisements.

            d. Deliberately publish deceiving, deceptive or incorrect information. Reporting to be real news about politics, economic and culture. This content includes ideologically extreme, hyper partisan or conspirational news and information as well as various forms of propaganda.

            e. Misleading visual content – Much of the disinformation circulates in visual content and can be very persuasive. Visual content is more shared than text by social platform’s algorithms.

 

2. What are the challenges in detecting and addressing electoral disinformation?

There are no regulations governing the responsible use of social media platforms. Instigators cannot be identified because they use dummy accounts or commonly known as Trolls.   

3. What legal and institutional gaps and limitations are contributing to this problem?

Anyone can post anything, whether it is true or not, on social media and it can be widely disseminated because anyone can share. Since not all accounts are not verified, it is impossible to identify the source of the false information.

4. What real and potential impacts on electoral processes concern you most?

Electoral disinformation may discredit the electoral institutions and undermine and interface with the electoral process. Disinformation in this case, can go from spreading misleading information about the voter registration process to challenge the independence and transparency of the Commission to announcing fake results and denouncing imaginary fraud.

On candidates, particularly women candidates. The goal is to dissuade political actors to run as candidates to bully them to resign.  False information about women candidates spreads farther, faster and more intensely than disinformation about men candidates and that disinformation tactics (for instance photos with sexual content) are often used to shame and detest women candidates and others who aspire to take public leadership positions.

Political Parties and Independent Political Parties. Depending on the electoral system and legal framework, some system and legal framework, some political parties might have less resources for their campaigns, and hence be more vulnerable to disinformation attacks. Disinformation may become a way of political propaganda.

Mirna Ghanem
Mirna Ghanem Moderator

Dear Jasmin Gilera, thank you for your intervention and for highlighting the potential impacts of disinformation on the electoral processes.

Mirna Ghanem
Mirna Ghanem Moderator

Week four Summary

Dear all, thank you for joining the discussion! Contributors this week highlighted important issues that must be taken into consideration when dealing with disinformation and the threats it imposes on the electoral processes.

Kindly find below a summary of this week’s interventions:

 

  1. Social media platforms are designed to profit from the natural human tendency to seek validation. Personalized search results create filter bubbles that silence outside voices.
  2. The lack of trust in media and governmental institutions makes the public more receptive to disinformation. The absence of critical thinking and media literacy is one of the main causes of the problem.
  3. Jasmin Gilera highlighted five strategies that may be used to enable electoral disinformation: false profiles, anonymous users, trolls and bots; information operation; micro-targeting in displaying individually targeted political advertisements; deliberately publishing deceiving, deceptive or incorrect information; misleading visual content.
  4. The absence of regulations governing the responsible use of social media platforms makes it difficult to identify trolls.
  5. Disinformation during elections may discredit the electoral institutions and undermine the electoral process.
  6. Female candidates are the most vulnerable to disinformation campaigns during elections. False information about female candidates tends to spread faster than disinformation about male candidates, especially when photos with sexual content targeting women are used to discredit and shame them.

Thank you again for your input during the last four weeks!

Best regards,

Mirna Ghanem