Global Affairs

The mysterious Katie Jones and other social media menaces

Falsehoods and disinformation aimed at influencing elections continue even as governments around the world step up their defences

LONDON • The recently concluded European parliamentary elections were the first sizeable polls anywhere in the world in which teams of specialists were on the lookout from the start of the proceedings for any evidence of disinformation perpetrated by foreign governments or organisations, with the intent of swaying the electoral results.

The European ballots also came a full three years after the problem of foreign interference in a country's electoral process - through the spread of false information, hacking into e-mail accounts and the use of fictitious accounts on social media platforms - first rose to international prominence during the United States presidential electoral campaign.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2019, with the headline 'The mysterious Katie Jones and other social media menaces'. Print Edition | Subscribe