Election Social Media Monitoring Results Reveal Suspect Behaviour

The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) have released the results of their social media monitoring of the 2018 presidential elections. It is the first time social media was monitored during elections.

With social media playing such a large role in opinion building, the project is an important measure of democracy. The monitoring results revealed found various tactics used to discredit candidates.

Anonymous Facebook pages were created to post sponsored content discrediting candidates and political actors. In addition, discrediting Facebook pages were created to criticize both Salome Zurabishvili and the opposition candidate Grigol Vashadze.

Ahead of the second round of elections, fake media pages were created against the opposition candidate. Moreover, pages were created with the intention of confusing voters.

ISFED also found that local civil servants often violated the Election Code by campaigning on social media during working hours.

On 14 January, Salome Zurabishvili tweeted about the impact of social networks: “While the media operates within its own legal framework to protect citizens, #socialnetworks have created a lower sense of responsibility in our democracy. We need to start thinking about what anonymity means and what to do about other countries intervening in our social media.”

ISFED monitored social media from the official start of the campaign on 29 August 2018. The project was supported financially by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Georgia.

by Amy Jones 

Photo source: Accommnews

17 January 2019 17:15