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State-Sponsored Trolling Is Rampant Throughout the World—including the US



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Governments around the world have used targeted online hate and harassment campaigns to intimidate or silence people.
The news: A report out today by the Institute for the Future, a California-based public policy group, details how widespread this has been. Hate mobs and anonymous threats have become key tools for repression of opposing ideas in both dictatorships and democracies.
How they do it: Using fake accounts, bots, and coordinated attacks by legions of followers, governments make it extremely difficult to distinguish between public opinion and sponsored trolls. Many times the attacks promote violence or sexual assault, especially when women are the targets.

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