Politics

Russian trolls appear to be staying out of Germany's election. Here's why.

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In this illustration, a hooded man holds a laptop while a blue screen with an exclamation mark is projected onto him. 
 
Credit:

Kacper Pempel/Reuters

The government of Russian President Vladimir Putin is widely believed to be behind social media disinformation campaigns aimed at influencing the 2016 US presidential election. As Germany’s general elections approach, many worry that a similar scenario could play out in that country.

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

But according to a report published by the Oxford Internet Institute on Tuesday, “the impact of political bots [has been] minor overall.”

“In Germany, we had very few bots, whereas in the US the role of bots was bigger,” said the study’s lead researcher Lisa-Maria Neudert.

The study also found that Germans were much less likely than social media users in the US to share disinformation planted by trolls and fake accounts. 

For the full interview with Lisa-Maria Neudert, click the "play" button above.