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Junk newsRussia-focused extremists, conspiracy peddlers spread junk news on U.S. military, national security

Published 10 October 2017

Social media provides political news and information for both active duty military personnel and veterans. Oxford University’s Oxford Internet Institute (OII) analyzed the subgroups of Twitter and Facebook users who spend time consuming junk news from websites that target U.S. military personnel and veterans with conspiracy theories, misinformation, and other forms of junk news about military affairs and national security issues. Among the findings: Over Twitter, there are significant and persistent interactions between current and former military personnel and a broad network of extremist, Russia-focused, and international conspiracy subgroups

Department of Defense program document // Source: yahoo.com

Social media provides political news and information for both active duty military personnel and veterans. The Computational Propaganda Project of Oxford University’s Oxford Internet Institute (OII) analyzed the subgroups of Twitter and Facebook users who spend time consuming junk news from websites that target U.S. military personnel and veterans with conspiracy theories, misinformation, and other forms of junk news about military affairs and national security issues.

Amon OII’s finding:

· Over Twitter, there are significant and persistent interactions between current and former military personnel and a broad network of extremist, Russia-focused, and international conspiracy subgroups

· Over Facebook, there are significant and persistent interactions between public pages for military and veterans and subgroups dedicated to political conspiracy, and both sides of the political spectrum

· Over Facebook, the users who are most interested in conspiracy theories and the political right seem to be distributing the most junk news, whereas users who are either in the military or are veterans are among the most sophisticated news consumers, and share very little junk news through the network.

— Read more in John D. Gallacher et l., Junk News on Military Affairs and National Security: Social Media Disinformation Campaigns against U.S. Military Personnel and Veterans (Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, 9 October 2017), and the accompanying supplement