Sweden, a small European state is in their Election period this 2018 but without lacking a controversy. The fight between parties competing for the elective seats virtually migrated the competition from the street rallies and campaign trails to Social Media sites.
The most evident sign is the massive use of Twitter bots that slander, defame and stigmatize opposing Twitter accounts supporting the opposite party. Legitimate Twitter users are advised to be alert and use their good judgment when reading Twitter posts, as 40% of which were just mass created for the purpose of swaying voters to their chosen candidate.
Dubbed “country in chaos”, Sweden’s Twitter space is flooded by messages that are vile and hurtful for or against a certain candidate or parties. From the perspective of the International scene, the arena of social media has started to become the be-all and end-all of all political debates, bickering, and slander.
“We’re handling a mass of activities and incidents and will, in our intelligence work with others, attempt to puzzle together who is behind each activity,” said Linda Escar, Security Police’s Deputy Unit Head. “Hopefully this study will contribute to a greater awareness of the potential effect bots have so that more citizens can make decisions without being influenced by them,” explained Johan Fernquist, Data Scientist of Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut, a firm that conducted a study with cooperation of Swedish Defense Research Agency.
There is still a standing belief with the law enforcement agencies of Sweden that the disruptions and noise are still under a tolerable level, and nothing major problem has developed over the last few weeks. They also disagree that foreign players are set to influence the result of the Swedish elections.
Influence peddling, which used to be under the platform of traditional media such as TV, radio, and newspapers are now under the domain of social media. The Swedish security police are monitoring the growth of global news stories accusing Sweden’s election as chaotic causing it to be tagged as “country in chaos.”
Some Twitter bot demands Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s impeachment, while others are strongly behind the PM. Sweden has long been a country known for its openness with immigration, and this made the country developing to a rich multicultural nation.
As the September 9 election is imminent, political bickering and propaganda from opposing parties are expected to continue if not intensify in the coming days. The anti-immigration party has a slight advantage in the latest survey, however, as it tries to promote a community where immigration is banned. The party also has a strong advocacy to remove Sweden from the list of the EU-member states.
Mass immigration was blamed for the increasing crime rates in the country and inefficiency of medical services. For many decades, Sweden is considered the champion for conservatism, a record holder in the world when it comes to foreign immigrants.
The Swedish Defense Research Agency released their study about Twitter’s bots increasing their numbers exponentially to prepare for political propaganda, especially more from the Nationalist Sweden Democrats.
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