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Trolls, Bots and Fake News: they are our deadly ennemies

What is urgently called for is a general mobilization against global proliferation of fake news and attacks from trolls and bots. The perpetrators and agressors are not always easy to identify. Nevertheless, we have a documented situation concerning the countries where these groups are harboured. According to the Freedom House survey, online manipulations and disinformation tactics played an important role in elections in at least 18 countries. "The Chinese and Russian regimes pioneered the use of surreptitious methods to distort online discussions and suppress dissent more than a decade ago, but the practice has since gone global" (Freedom on the Net 2017). A few days ago the EU Commission warned of fake news, meddling in 2019 EU parliamentary elections. The priority is to prevent state and non-state actors from undermining our democratic system. The Commission underlined than online platforms like Facebook should also take their fair share of responsibility. A recent study by the MIT has stressed that false information travels six times faster than the truth and reaches more people on Twitter than true stories. The increasingly use of trolls, bots and fake news has an obvious objective which is to shape public opinion. The rise of disinformation can undoubtedly undermine our essential values. European authorities finally wake up to this immensely serious issue. It is high time to deal with this threat.

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