News analysis

Foreign interference threatens American society, not just US election

When Russian origin online posts from 2016 were analysed, it was found that 80 per cent of them did not talk about the election but about race.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON - It sounds like the plot of a big-budget Hollywood film but experts say it is all too real: In a divided America, a number of actors seek to either influence the presidential election or exacerbate fissures in American society with the strategic goal of seeing the United States implode.

These actors are foreign powers like Russia, China and Iran, but also non-state players like QAnon - the conspiracy theory that has moved from the fringes of the far-right to the near-mainstream, such that one can order a QAnon flag or a shiny lapel pin on Amazon.

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