Propaganda and Digital Campaigning in the EU Elections

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) has uncovered a range of digital influence campaigns targeting the European Parliamentary elections through a mix of social media mapping, undercover online reporting and media monitoring.

This interim briefing paper addresses who is behind these malign influence operations and analyses the techniques they use. It also assesses the record of the tech companies in addressing these threats to electoral integrity.

In Poland EU election, ISD research revealed a network of 803 ‘sock-puppet’ accounts (accounts that fabricate their identity to fit into a community) and suspected bots that spread anti-semitic and pro-Russian messages. The network has put out over 92,000 anti-semitic messages over the last year. A lot of these focused on disinformation about Jewish ‘crimes’ in WWII, including claims the Soviet Army’s slaughter of Polish soldiers in Katyn was actually perpetrated by Jews. The same network also spread proRussian narratives, especially aimed at inciting enmity between Poland and Ukraine around WWII ethnic cleansings.

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