* Last week…
[Illinois Board of Elections spokesperson Matt Dietrich] says that the Illinois State Board of Elections is also taking a leading role in combatting foreign disinformation campaigns. He says the board is working with Facebook and Twitter to thwart false messaging. For instance, he says targeted Facebook messages falsely stated that voters could vote by text message, or that Democrats and Republicans could vote on different days, all to suppress the vote.
“If we catch misinformation about the election, about the time of the polls, or telling people they can vote by text, we can quickly alert Facebook and have that post taken down,” Dietrich says. “Where it gets harder is what we saw in 2016, where you have groups putting out messages on Facebook saying things like, ‘Don’t show up.’ Those are harder for us to police because then you’re getting into a First Amendment issue.”
But as we shall see the misinformation goes way beyond that, and these campaigns may or may not all be foreign influenced.
* USA Today…
As the final votes trickled in during last week’s Kentucky gubernatorial election, a network of automated Twitter accounts suddenly sprang into action.
They spread misinformation about the election being rigged, according to the CEO of a company that tracks political misinformation on social media.
Gideon Blocq, the founder and CEO of VineSight, told The Courier Journal his company witnessed thousands of accounts with “bot-like” automated behavior spreading misinformation about the race, including a screenshot of a tweet by one account claiming to have destroyed ballots with votes for incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.
“Immediately at the end of the counting of the votes, these stories started popping up in parallel, all about the election being rigged,” Blocq said.
One of the tweets spreading the furthest came from user @Overlordkraken1, which tweeted at 8:39 p.m. he had “just shredded a box of Republican mail in ballots,” adding “Bye bye Bevin.” The tweet listed the user’s location as Louisville, though it misspelled the word. […]
While the suspended account was likely a real person just “trolling” with the shredding tweet, Blocq said “thousands” of bot accounts spread the screenshot in parallel with other tweets alleging that the election was rigged, showing “this is not a small operation… it is not just one person doing this.”