With Europe’s next major election set to take place in Italy on Sunday, fears that false information could mislead voters have again surfaced. Misinformation has thrived on social media, where it can be difficult to tell the difference between real and false quotes, images and articles. And with internet companies and governments struggling to keep up with the waves of false reports, politicians have expressed concern about how the misinformation might skew the voting process and stoke tensions.
…Jiri Drahos was the main opponent of President Milos Zeman in the Czech presidential election in January. In the summer of 2017, Aeronet News, a Czech news website that has been linked to fake news in the past and that has a distinctly pro-Russia bent, published an article insinuating that Mr. Drahos had committed acts of pedophilia and that he had collaborated with the secret police in the 1980s.
… Two months before the French presidential election of 2017, Bernard Barrier, who claimed to be a former employee of the French Ministry of Defense, posted a map that he said showed the locations of clashes between immigrants and the police.
The map was shared more than 15,600 times on Facebook. But it was later proved that the image had been taken from an article in the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph article, published in 2005, about riots mainly by mobs of young people from poor neighborhoods.