Bogus Brexit murder plot and other lies

June 27, 2019 | Research
The study examining the disinformation created online by Russian accounts

In August 2018, Spanish authorities uncovered a plot by anti-Brexit campaigners to assassinate leading Brexiteer and now favourite to be Britain’s next prime minister, Boris Johnson. Or did they?

According to Jack Stubbs (Reuters), a study presented by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab has discovered the network of various social media accounts operating from Russia in order to push false narratives in 6 languages through 30 different online platforms including Twitter and Facebook.

The main aim of the network with the connections to a group of 16 accounts suspended in May, is to “divide, discredit, and distract” the West by spreading false information to disrupt politics and public opinion.

Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook, told Reuters the accounts and pages removed by Facebook in May had been a small part of “a broader operation that was primarily active on other internet platforms.”

“We know that these threats are not limited to a specific type of technology or service. The better we can be at working together, the better we’ll do by our community”.

The false narratives, as the alleged plot to “kill Boris Johnson”, have been presented with “facts and pictures” with linguistic errors typical of native Russian-speakers.

The Kremlin did not comment on the findings, while Moscow has repeatedly denied all the allegations.