A Cambridge Analytica moment and some other takeaways from the EU-election

A Cambridge Analytica moment and some other takeaways from the EU-election

A Cambridge Analytica moment and some other takeaways from the EU-electionSweden is having a Cambridge Analytica moment where one of the largest political party’s troll army has been exposed by a Walraffing journalist at TV4. It is a troll army that consists of loads of anonymous social media accounts that are sharing fake news, deep fakes as well as direct harassments of political opponents. All financed directly by the political party and many of the troll’s works at its headquarter. According to the political party’s leader, all this is all a joke. But on election night it was no longer funny for this political party. Not 20 percent that the election polls showed, but 13 percent of the voters like to be manipulated.   

So, one of the largest political parties of Sweden is building and training a cyber army with the taxpayers money. While its admiration, connections and close ideological bonds to Russia is well-known, obviously they are also using similar methods as Putin’s troll army. And in the same spirit as Putin, journalists at the media house that performed the investigation are now being harassed. Because according to the political party, all this is the media’s fault. 

A Cambridge Analytica moment

Despite the title of this analysis, there are many differences to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, that scandal that before it blasted paved the way for Donald Trump at the 2016 election and probably the Brexit vote. Both were an act of playing with innocent people’s minds, a hypnosis, that led to devastating consequences. The democracy that served us so well suddenly was side-stepped by new unregulated technology that most voters did not even know existed, and even less what it could do. With these prerequisites the 2024 EU-election could have become a more Russian style election, unfair, biassed with privacy lost. An outcome that the Swedish troll army was longing for, however, with slightly different methods and updated technology. 

Trolls explode in the light

But trolls explode in the light and by enlightenment, and top-quality journalism is the main cure. Thanks to the TV4 journalist and his colleagues, the EU election in Sweden became more about politics and less about manipulation. This is obviously devastating for a party that uses manipulation as the main source of gaining votes. But devastating is also the 13 percent that liked the lies despite enlightenment. 

Troll armies impact in other EU member states

However, one can wonder, what impact similar troll armies in other EU member states did have on the EU election 2024? In all these other 26 member states where the trolls were not dragged out into the light to explode. And which impact did their Russian counterpart have, it is obvious that Kreml has a direct interest in manipulating the EU into chaos. However, according to the outcome of the election, there is a workable stable majority in the new EU Parliament to accelerate the progress of Europe. Hopefully the elected politicians take on this opportunity.

We at European trends will in this spirit accelerate our efforts to identify the most interesting trends in the EU and the rest of Europe, and analyse the impact.

Written by
LarsGoran Bostrom

Learning Designer and Data Ethics Consultant

European trends Analysis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *