This is stated in the November 14 annual report "Freedom on the Net 2017" of the Freedom House international human rights organization, according to Radio Liberty.
According to human rights activists, online manipulation and disinformation tactics played an "important role" in elections in at least 18 countries in the past year, including Russia's influencing of the electoral process in the United States.
"The use of paid commentators and political bots to spread government propaganda was pioneered by China and Russia but has now gone global," Freedom House President Michael Abramowitz said.
According to researchers, the Ukrainian authorities blocked Russia-based services, including the country's most widely used social network and search engine, after Russian agents flooded social media with fabricated stories advancing the Kremlin's narrative.
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