Russian Influence? Give Me The Numbers!

The Czech think tank, European Values, put forth a Kremlin Watch Report recently titled, Influence of Russian Disinformation Operations:  Specific Examples in Data and Numbers.

In conclusion, the ways in which the Kremlin leads the hybrid war on a global scale are increasingly sophisticated. The development of social networks has greatly expanded the range of tools that can be used in hybrid warfare without the user violating the law. Spreading disinformation and the manipulation of public opinion has never been easier. That is the bad news. On the other hand, the ways in which we can defend ourselves against these operations continue to improve. Decreasing Twitter contributions on NATO in Russian (Robotrolling Chapter) can serve as evidence that the fight against the abuse of social networks is successful. Due to the real existence of bot accounts and troll accounts, we have evidence that the Kremlin’s influence operations are real, and the Kremlin cannot deny it. Moreover, by tracking the amount of likes and shares / retweets, we are able to determine how successful these operations are. And that’s the good news

• Before Brexit, Russia Today and Sputnik released more anti-EU articles than the official Vote Leave website and Leave.EU website

• The British version of Sputnik has an annual budget of £ 1.8 million from the Russian government • Kremlin-owned channels potentially influenced 134 million impressions during the Brexit campaign

• A total of 5,029,877 messages connected to the Catalan crisis on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks were analysed

• 50% of RT´s most shared posts were proCatalan independence

• 84 of the 100 most active pro-Catalan independence accounts cannot be assigned to any human being

• Over 36,000 automated accounts and 1.4 million election-related tweets linked to Russia on Twitter during the US presidential campaign

• 18 YouTube channels that featured 1100 videos targeted against the US

• 80,000 pieces of divisive content connected to the 2016 US presidential election and millions of views on Facebook

• 120,000 pieces of Kremlin-linked content on Instagram

• 172 reports on Italy´s parliamentary election were monitored and analysed

• 178 problematic pieces of content identified ten weeks before the Italian parliamentary elections

• 2.5 fake stories a day exposed to Italian voters

• 42% of accounts active in Russian were predominantly automated

• 81,000 posts discussing NATO only in Russian

• 73,000 posts mentioning NATO on the Russian social network VKontakte

The European Values Think-Tank is a non-governmental policy institute defending liberal democracy. Our vision is that of a free, safe and prosperous Czech Republic within Central Europe that is an integral part of the West. We help to face aggressive regimes, radicalisation within the society, the spread of authoritarian tendencies and extremist ideologies including Islamism.