Fakes, Bots, and Blockings in Armenia

A snapshot of online manipulation on the eve of a parliamentary vote Source: Twitter. Accounts posting the same wording and image ahead of the Armenian election Armenians go to the polls on April 2 for the first election under a new law which marks the transition towards a parliamentary system of rule, Ben Nimmo and Donara Barojan wrote for DFRLab. The days before the election saw a spike in manipulative behavior on Twitter, including fakes, bots, and the targeted blocking of key accounts. Fake e-mail First, at the end of March, tens of Twitter users tweeting in Russian started sharing a fake USAID email implying that the US is meddling in Armenia’s elections. Source: Pastebin, via Onnik J Krikorian / Twitter The email was debunked by the US Embassy in Yerevan, which pointed out grammatical and spelling mistakes in the text, and the implausibility of a genuine USAID email coming from a gmail account: Source: US Embassy Yerevan / Facebook. As of the evening of April 1, the

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