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LAST year’s Bavarian election saw an international social media mobilisation by the far right to boost the showing of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, a think tank told the Munich security conference today.
Researchers from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue say they have identified online tactics used to promote AfD and smear its opponents.
The xenophobic party received 10.2 per cent in the state’s election last October.
The institute’s report found the election meddling wasn’t driven by foreign countries, but rather by non-state networks of international far-right activists “using English language instruction manuals, meme banks and targeted trolling hit lists.”
It said that despite media hysteria on the topic, there was “little identifiable” evidence that Russia had tried to interfere with the vote.
It said Russian-owned media such as RT had “focused on issues only indirectly tied to the election, promoting one-sided but not false articles on issues such as migration, foreign policy and the war in Syria” — a description that could plausibly apply to almost any broadcaster’s programming.
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