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Lawrence McDonnell

McDonnell & Partners, Former BBC Moscow Correspondent

On November 7, 2016, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States after a bitterly-fought campaign against Hillary Clinton. The election was very closely-run, with Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, but losing the presidency based on the U.S. electoral college structure. However, months after Donald Trump was declared President of the United States, questions remain about the legitimacy of the U.S. elections. The central issues are the emergence and use of so-called ‘Fake News’ and the accusation that Russia, through espionage and online hacking operations, sought to influence the presidential elections to promote Donald Trump and denigrate the reputation of Hillary Clinton.

The issues thrown up in the wake of the U.S. presidential election have fundamentally undermined trust in the workings of the international media and further damaged U.S.–Russia relations. A report by the U.S. intelligence services accusing Russia of attempting to influence the outcome of the election, prepared for President Obama and published in the election’s immediate aftermath, led to the expulsion1 of 35 Russian diplomats from Washington just days after the results were announced. President Putin, on the other hand, opted not to expel any U.S. diplomats from Russia. The investigation into Russia’s involvement and influence on the U.S. elections continues today.

This policy brief provides an overview of how the gathering and dissemination of news has changed in a globalized digital environment, how consumers digest and share news at an ever-increasing pace, and how the management of big data can influence electorates across borders. It will also define ‘fake news’ and the extent to which it might have influenced the results of the U.S. elections.

On November 7, 2016, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States after a bitterly-fought campaign against Hillary Clinton. The election was very closely-run, with Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, but losing the presidency based on the U.S. electoral college structure. However, months after Donald Trump was declared President of the United States, questions remain about the legitimacy of the U.S. elections. The central issues are the emergence and use of so-called ‘Fake News’ and the accusation that Russia, through espionage and online hacking operations, sought to influence the presidential elections to promote Donald Trump and denigrate the reputation of Hillary Clinton.

The issues thrown up in the wake of the U.S. presidential election have fundamentally undermined trust in the workings of the international media and further damaged U.S.–Russia relations. A report by the U.S. intelligence services accusing Russia of attempting to influence the outcome of the election, prepared for President Obama and published in the election’s immediate aftermath, led to the expulsion1 of 35 Russian diplomats from Washington just days after the results were announced. President Putin, on the other hand, opted not to expel any U.S. diplomats from Russia. The investigation into Russia’s involvement and influence on the U.S. elections continues today.

This policy brief provides an overview of how the gathering and dissemination of news has changed in a globalized digital environment, how consumers digest and share news at an ever-increasing pace, and how the management of big data can influence electorates across borders. It will also define ‘fake news’ and the extent to which it might have influenced the results of the U.S. elections.

Lies, Spies and Big Data: How Fake News Is Rewriting Political Landscapes, 830 Kb

(votes: 9, rating: 5)
 (9 votes)

Poll conducted

  1. Korean Peninsula Crisis Has no Military Solution. How Can It Be Solved?
    Demilitarization of the region based on Russia-China "Dual Freeze" proposal  
     36 (35%)
    Restoring multilateral negotiation process without any preliminary conditions  
     27 (26%)
    While the situation benefits Kim Jong-un's and Trump's domestic agenda, there will be no solution  
     22 (21%)
    Armed conflict still cannot be avoided  
     12 (12%)
    Stonger deterrence on behalf of the U.S. through modernization of military infrastructure in the region  
     4 (4%)
    Toughening economic sanctions against North Korea  
     2 (2%)
 
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