The Global Disinformation Order – 2019 Global Inventory of Organised Social Media Manipulation

The Global Order – 2019 Global Inventory of Organised Social Media Manipulation

Over the past three years, we have monitored the
global organization of social media manipulation by
governments and political parties. Our 2019 report
analyses the trends of computational propaganda
and the evolving tools, capacities, strategies, and
1. Evidence of organized social media manipulation
campaigns which have taken place in 70 countries,
up from 48 countries in 2018 and 28 countries in
2017. In each country, there is at least one political
party or government agency using social media to
shape public attitudes domestically (Figure 1).
2.Social media has become co-opted by many
authoritarian regimes. In 26 countries,
computational propaganda is being used as
a tool of information control in three distinct
ways: to suppress fundamental human rights,
discredit political opponents, and drown out
dissenting opinions (Figure 2).
3. A handful of sophisticated state actors use
computational propaganda for foreign influence
operations. Facebook and Twitter attributed
foreign influence operations to seven countries
(China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia,
and Venezuela) who have used these platforms to
influence global audiences (Figure 3).
4. China has become a major player in the global
disinformation order. Until the 2019 protests in Hong
Kong, most evidence of Chinese computational
propaganda occurred on domestic platforms such
as Weibo, WeChat, and QQ. But China’s new-found
interest in aggressively using Facebook, Twitter, and
YouTube should raise concerns for democracies
5. Despite there being more social networking
platforms than ever, Facebook remains the
platform of choice for social media manipulation.
In 56 countries, we found evidence of formally
organized computational propaganda campaigns
on Facebook. (Figure 4)