RussiaAugust 9 2022, 13:21 pm

Half of Canadians Exposed to Russian Online Propaganda; Most Right-Wingers Support Russian Claims, Survey Finds

Toron­to Met­ro­pol­i­tan Uni­ver­si­ty has recent­ly pub­lished a study exam­in­ing how suc­cess­ful Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da is spread­ing in Cana­da. The study has found that over half of Cana­di­ans have been exposed to pro-Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da about the Ukraine war on social media and that most right-lean­ing respon­ders sup­port Russ­ian claims. Accord­ing to a press release by the university:

July 11, 2022 Cana­di­ans are being exposed to pro-Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­da. Slight­ly over half of Cana­di­ans (51%) report­ed encoun­ter­ing at least one pro-Krem­lin claim about the Rus­sia-Ukraine war on social media, accord­ing to new research from the Social Media Lab at the Ted Rogers School of Man­age­ment. […] The report, authored by Ana­toliy Gruzd (Cana­da Research Chair), Philip Mai, Felipe Bonow Soares and Alyssa Saiphoo, from the Social Media Lab shows that the most preva­lent claim, encoun­tered by 35% of Cana­di­ans, was “Ukrain­ian nation­al­ism is a neo-Nazi move­ment”. The report also shows that Cana­di­ans who hold right-lean­ing views are more like­ly to believe in pro-Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­da over­all as com­pared to Cana­di­ans who hold mixed or left-lean­ing views. Fur­ther­more, Cana­di­ans who believe in pro-Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­da are more like­ly to rely on social media for news about the war than those who do not believe.

Read the rest here and the full study here.

The sur­vey shows that between 49–64% of right-lean­ing Cana­di­ans sup­port sev­en pro-Russ­ian claims such as “Ukrain­ian nation­al­ism is a neo-Nazi move­ment” (50%), “the Unit­ed States has a net­work of bio­log­i­cal weapons labs in Ukraine” (58%), or “the Kyiv regime is spread­ing doc­tored pho­tos and videos of sup­posed atroc­i­ties by Rus­sians” (64%). The sur­vey also shows that those who believe in one or more pro-Russ­ian claims are more like­ly to rely on social media for news about the war than those who do not believe in any. For exam­ple, 57% of those who believe that “Ukrain­ian nation­al­ism is a neo-Nazi move­ment” said their pre­ferred news source is social media or mes­sag­ing apps. In com­par­i­son, only 23% of those who do not believe in this claim pre­fer social media as a news source.

Cana­di­an media recent­ly pub­lished an inves­ti­ga­tion into West­ern social media influ­encers help­ing Putin’s war on Ukraine, iden­ti­fy­ing the Cana­di­an activist Eva Bartlett as one of the most influ­en­tial pro-Russ­ian propagandists.


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