While the media focuse on the Kremlin’s “hybrid warfare” against the Western democracies or the Chinese social credit system controlling people’s everyday life through mass-surveillance, the illiberal state of Viktor Orbán is also doing its fair share to exercise information control via new digital powers.
We are entering a new era of influence operations in the cyber space. As global players such as Twitter and Google are joining the fight against the spread of hostile propaganda, Kremlin friendly trolls have no trouble adjusting to the new cyber rules and still keeping their activities one step ahead.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has by decree named a regiment of the Russian air force after the Estonian capital, Tallinn. In the former Soviet republic this has been regarded as a provocation, with good reason.
Creating robotic Twitter accounts which generate automatic content on a selected topic became one of the most useful tools in the Kremiln’s disinformation propaganda. Over 80% of Russia-language tweets and almost half the English-language tweets on the NATO presence in Eastern Europe is created by pro-Kremiln robotic accounts.