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    Report: Impact of Social Media in the Presidential elections and why Blockchain technology is the key to preserve our democracy

    September 2020

    1.1 Social media used by political parties in different countries
    Social media became the most powerful medium of communication. Social media’s growth in the political arena had a profound influence on politicians and voters alike. Many political candidates are creating accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and more specifically for their campaigns. Politicians post messages which could reach billions of people. Social media’s rise in the political arena has had a dramatic effect on politicians and voters alike. The candidates used Facebook Live to broadcast rallies, created Snapchat filters, displayed videos behind the scenes, highlighted endorsements from other politicians and celebrities, hosted Q&As, and raised campaign money via social media.

    Social media has allowed candidates to reach a younger generation of voters who may not have previously been as engaged with a candidate or their campaign and candidates can also use these channels to perform their own polling information. Most politicians use those forums to communicate with their supporters on a personal level. Instead of using social media to reach their supporters and build a dialogue, the parties are using the media as an advertising platform1.

    United States
    The political role of social media in American politics was established during the 2008 presidential election. The Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was the first to use the Internet to mobilize supporters, advertise and communicate with individuals in a manner that had been difficult in previous elections. Nearly three quarters of internet users went online to learn about the candidates in the election; this is equal to 55% of the adult population. It used social media to make personalized appeals to voters that were supported by data analytics that driven targeted messaging. Voters generated and promoted candidate messages without any structured campaign groups or political parties working through them2. The most famous viral videos in the 2008 campaign BarelyPolitical.com’s “Obama Girl” and William’s “Yes, We Can,” were produced independently and attracted around 14.5 Mn of viewers. Obama led McCain supporters in all categories of political online activism, which some find to be a significant factor in his win3. Going forward, campaigns including Obama’s 2012 committee work hard to curtail outside efforts and exert more control over the campaign-media process.

    Social media communities played a large role in gathering young voters for the 2016 election. Both the presidential and congressional candidates have extensively used the social media platform for political campaigns. The political parties use social media in a different way like in the U.S., Clinton used social media to link to their own official campaign websites, social media account, links to campaign events, videos and donation pages. On the other hand, Trump’s posts were more frequently pointed readers to news media with links directed followers to articles from large national or international media organizations such as Fox News and the Daily Mail. Both political parties have used the Snapchat video and image sharing software to pay for the geo-filter promotion. In September, Trump published a debate day filter “Donald J Trump vs. crooked Hillary” and in the days before November 8, the Clinton party funded its own geo filters reading “I’m with her” and “Making history tomorrow.” 4.

    United Kingdom
    Online advertising had played a major part in David Cameron’s unexpected majority in 2015. Since witnessing the influence of social media in the US election in 2016 and the return of Jeremy Corbyn in 2017, political parties have now spent record quantities of human and financial capital to promote their involvement in social media. Political parties use these social media tools to run advertising that encourages likely supporters to give their email address in support of a cause or receive information from the campaign5

    In UK 2015 general election campaign, the Conservative Party spent about £1.2 Mn on Facebook, allowing the party to reach individual voters in marginal constituencies with tailor-made posts. There has been a decrease in the power of print media and that the social media played a crucial role in 2017 ‘s election maybe being the first election in which that was the case6. Social media became an integral part of Labor’s 2017 election campaign. They posted more content, uploaded more videos, and created more interaction in social media platforms than any other major parties. The Conservative party employed New Zealand consultants Sean Topham and Ben Guerin who worked on the successful Morrison campaign in Australia, which was taken as a sign that this time around they will be taking social media seriously. This indicates that the Conservatives increased their Facebook performance significantly in 20197. Although the Brexit Party dominated the social media discourse during the 2019 European Parliament elections, when it comes to social media interaction, they fall well behind the two main UK parties, presumably because their special political space was eliminated8.

    In the 2014 elections, he was the first to concertedly use social media to advocate for his own platform and philosophy. The BJP has spent about US$100 Mn in campaigning for Modi. They used 3D rallies, tea booth conference calls, live streaming messages via Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, as well as other websites and devices. During the 2019 Indian general election, social media played a prominent role as political parties, leaders, and supporters made heavy use of it for political campaigning and communication. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP used social media extensively in the run-up to the 2014 elections and during his first term in office.  His active use of social media is evident in pan-India initiatives such as Swacch Bharat and the recently launched Fit India Movement, a nationwide initiative that encourages people to participate in physical activity and sport in their daily lives9. It was Modi ‘s unprecedented performance in the 2014 general election that made many political leaders in India sit up and take note of social media’s game-changing presence. Other parties, including the Indian National Congress, the Samajwadi Party and many others, have built IT cells in the last year to organize and actively campaign for their 2019 elections program and vision10

    With increasing evidence of the use of social media to interfere in the 2016 US election, Australian politicians are now using social media campaigns for the Australian federal election. The parties are advertising more on social and internet channels than conventional media (TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines). These digital ads can be personalized and focused on issues that voters have already expressed interest in and are therefore relevant to their lives11.

    In Germany, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and its supporters were far more active and adept than traditional parties in promoting their agenda on social media platform in the run-up to last year’s election success. The patriotic anti-immigration party won seats in the national parliament for the first time in September 2017, with 12.6% of the vote, creating more attention to its Twitter and Facebook posts than its opponents12.

    For Kenyan general election for 2013 the social media was used in Africa. Social media became one of the primary tools that most political candidates used to communicate with young voters. The use of social media and digital networking by President Uhuru Kenyatta has played an instrumental part in his election campaign. In the run-up to the elections, Kenyatta’s Facebook page got nearly 500,000 likes’ or followers making it one of the most liked pages in Kenya13.

    1.2 The impact of Social media on the outcomes of elections in different regions
    Although there has always been name-calling, false news and other forms of low-level debate and dishonest political communication, social media has certainly escalated these issues to a specific level. The rise of social media has changed the way in which policies are coordinated and executed, and the essence of political communication. Unlike heritage media, the use of social media in election campaigns is much cheaper and often as small as a few cents per button. The digital and social are highly focused, so your opponents may not even be aware of your post.

    American Countries
    Social media is widely used in American countries to campaign, share news and connect with prospective voters. In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama used social media to advertise and communicate with individuals. The most famous viral videos in the 2008 campaign “Obama Girl” and “Yes, We Can,” were a significant factor in his win. He embraces the power of social media to build a brand of his own. He had gone from a relatively political unknown to an elected official. The whole landscape of political campaigning has changed with the use of grassroots fundraising, social media expertise and viral sensitivities used to defeat more prominently known candidates. The Social media platform also played a large role in gathering young voters for the 2016 election. Both the presidential and congressional candidates have extensively used the social media platform for political campaigns. Facebook ad campaign and active tweets in Twitter helped Donald Trump to gain more popularity which helped him to win election. The use of Twitter as a forum for connecting with the people with tweets and to get peoples response in much numbers helped him in shaping his ideas and views. In addition, the Russian government intervened to harm Hillary Clinton’s campaign by promoting Donald Trump ‘s candidacy through social media platforms.

    In Brazil 2018 election, Bolsonaro’s candidacy benefited from the social media platform campaigns, but on the other hand it affected the opponent as WhatsApp had been used to spread fake news, stories that are not based on facts. The spread of these stories about Fernando Haddad (who represents the Workers Party) have allegedly been linked to a network supporting Bolsonaro. Reports also indicate that phone numbers had been scraped from Facebook to be used on WhatsApp for bulk messaging14.

    Asian Countries
    The manipulation of online content is an increasingly common feature of political campaigns around the world, particularly in Asia, where several major countries have elections this year. Candidates have employed the technique for a variety of purposes, such as feigning grassroots support, smearing opponents and journalists, and warping online discussion to advance their positions and downplay unfavorable topics.
    To politicians and parties, the most effective way to exploit news is to distribute themselves intentionally falsified or false information. For example, party officials have exchanged propaganda over WhatsApp in India’s general election, which stretches from April 11 to May 19.
    A doctored audio file has been circulated in Thailand’s recent election, intended to show that Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the leader of the influential opposition Future Forward Party, had conspired with ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Reports suggested that several of the recording outlets had ties to the News Network Company, whose president was a member of Thailand’s military junta, the National Council for Peace and Order at the time of the election15.
    In Philippines, the presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte used a “keyboard army” to help with his campaign. For $10 a day, the hired commentators posted via fake social media pages, in favor of Duterte and against his opponents. These efforts have reportedly continued during his administration to promote his policies, including the extrajudicial killings associated with his supposed war on drugs.
    The 2019 Indian general election saw the widespread and innovative use of digital media and technology. Most political parties have heavily employed digital media to organize and mobilize voters. The arrival of social media has made easy for the politician to communicate with public. Narendra Modi took advantage of social media tactics to meet its future supporters. Modi ‘s popularity on social media platforms brought the BJP to victory with 282 seats out of 543 parliamentary seats, India’s biggest party win in 40 years. The BJP managed to sway many young voters through its use of social media16.
    In the Indonesian general election 2019, Political parties has used social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp to target young population. On the other hand, huge number of social media users has given fake news creators a large audience to spread their content to, exacerbating deep-seated religious and ethnic tensions.

    African Countries
    Public office candidates, political parties, election boards, and political leaders and commentators have used social media outlets to engage with voters, receive their votes, and carry on the political discourse. The use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and YouTube have emerged as an important electoral campaigning tool in recent years. Last year, during presidential and legislative elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a country larger than Western Europe social media platforms proved the most practical way to reach out to over 40 million voters.

    European Countries
    After seeing the influence of social media in the US election in 2016 and European counties also use the social media tools for election campaigns17. In UK, the Labour Party and Conservative Party use the social media platforms extensively for the United Kingdom General election, 2019. They posted more content, uploaded more videos, and created more interaction in social media platforms than any other major parties.

    Facebook had taken steps to protect the integrity of the European elections, including entering partnerships with local fact-checking organizations, adopting new rules to show who was buying political ads on its platform and dedicating teams of employees to monitor election interferences18.

    1.3 Major concerns regarding the use of social media in elections
    Social media is the most powerful communication medium to ever exist. The rise of social media in the political arena has had a dramatic impact on both politicians and voters. Many political candidates are creating accounts specifically for their campaigns on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and more.

    1.3.1 Pros
    The social media platform has allowed candidates to reach large audiences and younger generations of voters who may not have been as involved with a candidate or their network beforehand. Getting a broad social media audience changes the playing field for candidates who do not have as much money or a reputation as their opponents. This platform may encourage candidates to interact directly with the public without the need for a press conference or news story, sharing opinions on issues19.
    Candidates can customize their messages to suit their target audience and certainly adjust the type of banner, photographs and videos people see depending on the age, geography or other metrics specified on their profiles. Through this way candidates will introduce themselves to various people on all sides. This helps them to customize their picture to fit the voter’s eyes to fulfill exactly what that elector is looking for. Prior to social media, this sort of political maneuvering was difficult. It helps campaigns to spend money to target voters more effectively. Politicians can plan their message to reach voters who are unsure about who should get their vote20.

    The candidates can advertise on social media without paying for ads. Many who’ve built an account on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram know it’s free to use for all. Political parties will then build an account and promote the different aspects of their agenda without having to pay for airtime on radio or television networks. There is no need for any middleman on the social media to allow the people to communicate directly with members of the party21.

    Previously people were just voters but now they have become active participants in the entire process. Through social media, they may participate in an interactive discussion. No-one should ignore the role of social media in Obama’s electoral campaign. This included people actively participating.

    Some campaigns also have used “money bombs” to raise large amounts of cash in a short time. These are typically 24-hour periods in which candidates press their supporters to donate money. The popular libertarian Ron Paul, who ran for president in 2008, orchestrated some of the most successful money-bomb fundraising campaigns22.

    1.3.2 Cons
    The misuse of social media by other countries is one of the major concerns in election. The presidential election of the United States in 2016 was an example of which the outside country Russia used social media to manipulate the public opinion. There is growing evidence that many of the falsehoods that spread in the United States during 201623. Presidential election was part of a propaganda campaign by the Russians. The idea that a foreign power would use social media to sow disinformation intended to influence an election is deeply troubling. With the forthcoming midterm elections, officials have described social media as a possible conduit for international intervention. On February 13, 2018, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the 2018 midterm elections are a “potential target for Russian influence operations,” and that Russia may continue to use propaganda and social media to mislead American voters24. As per few reports, countries like China and Russia have been using online armies to spread misinformation or shut down pages for at least a decade, automated systems such as bots and algorithms are gradually developing new forms of undermining democracy that are more difficult to track and yet to be fully comprehended.

    Widespread of fake news or fake informations in social media is one of the concerns such as fake news in recent elections in Brazil and the Philippines hits country’s presidential election.

    Public polls are a critical part of any campaign. They are often confusing, because you can often find many polls with contradictory results on the same day. When people post the latest survey results on social media throughout the day, there is a lot of pressure on candidates to pull their opponents forward.

    A photograph is worth a thousand words and images of political candidates, especially conveys emotions, actions, realism, and credibility. Images that mock the opponents are often commonly used by political candidates to manipulate the electorate, and often these pictures express the candidates’ wrong image. The social media can be used to accuse and attack the opposition parties and information is distorted by misleading and inaccurate facts.

    Recently, the issue of bots influencing election outcomes has become a popular subject. Bots are artificial identities that differentiate between people and political parties on social media sites. Bots are used to disseminate dissension and news from untrusted sources. Facebook and Twitter are the two highest under investigation sites. Russia allegedly manipulated the election in recent elections in 2016 using bots on prominent social media sites, with Facebook at the forefront25.

    The “echo-chamber” phenomenon is one of the concerns of using social media. Users will mainly see content and people who they agree with when they scroll down their news feed. Echo chambers build a cult-like following, which means politicians will need to exert less effort to reel in certain segments of the voter base. Besides that, voters will be less worried with the policies their nominee wants to enact and more about which side of the candidate’s political spectrum is on. Social media exacerbates the problem of echo chambers, with everyone feeling the need to be on one side or the other.

    Direct access to voters also has its downside. The picture of a candidate is always handled by agents and public relations experts, and with good reason: encouraging a politician to submit unfiltered tweets or Facebook posts has put several politicians into hot water or humiliating situations. For example, Anthony Weiner, who lost his seat in Congress after exchanging sexually explicit messages and photos with women on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

    1.4 Social media and US presidential elections of 2016
    1.4.1 Brief overview

    Social media plays an increasingly important role in the way campaigns communicate with voters. The 2016 presidential elections saw a widespread use of social media platforms by Republican candidate, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. Multiple social platforms have taken center stage throughout the campaign season, reaching out to people of all ages. All presidential candidates have used social media in a different way. They have used Facebook Live to broadcast rallies, created Snapchat filters, shared behind-the-scenes videos and support from other politicians and celebrities, held Q&As, and increased campaign money through social media. By using online advertising, social media and Twitter, candidates had sent their campaign messages to the voters at a much lower cost to the campaign.

    On Facebook, Clinton had linked most of her posts to official campaign communications and where to vote, but on the other hand Trump chose to link to different news media in his posts. On Twitter, Trump stands out for retweeting ordinary people more often than Clinton or Sanders. In terms of videos, Trump also used these to his advantage and posted videos in about one-in-ten of his social media posts. Clinton only used video in about a quarter of her posts26. Donald Trump turned his well-known chant “lock her up” into a trending hashtag and Hillary Clinton and her supporters fired back by declaring #ImWithHer.

    Within their Facebook posts, the candidates included external links, 30% of Clinton’s posts on Facebook included links, as did 32% of Sanders’ posts and 30% of Trump’s posts, Clinton’s and Sanders’ s Facebook feeds most often linked to their own official campaign websites, social media account, links to campaign events, videos and donation pages. Links to news media outlets were considerably less common for these two Democratic candidates. On the other hand, Trump’s Facebook posts were more frequently pointed readers to news media, 78% of his posts with links directed followers to articles from large national or international media organizations such as Fox News and the Daily Mail. Trump’s unique engagement with the public on Twitter stands apart not just from the other 2016 candidates but also from past presidential campaigns.

    As per the research, in January 2016, 44% of the U.S. indicated that they had heard about the 2016 presidential election from social media in the past week, outperforming all local and national print newspapers. In fact, as of July, 24% report they have turned to Donald Trump’s or Hillary Clinton’s social media posts for news and election information more than those who turn to any of the candidates’ websites or emails combined (15%)27.

    1.4.2 Allegations
    Russian Influence:
    In the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Russian government intervened with the aims of harming Hillary Clinton ‘s campaign, promoting Donald Trump ‘s candidacy, and growing political and social unrest in the United States. Before the 2016 election, media outlets speculated on Trump’s alleged relationship with Vladimir Putin and the possible involvement of Russia in the U.S. presidential election. Soon the U.S. Intelligence Community substantiated some of the allegations and concluded that the Russian government had been trying to tamper with the campaign of Hillary Clinton. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported on October7, 2016 that the Russian government has hacked into U.S. email servers and leaked its contents. Furthermore, National Intelligence Director James Clapper testified on January 6, 2017 that Russia has been spreading fake news stories on social media. ODNI issued a study alleging that President Putin has directed a campaign of coercion to vilify Hillary Clinton.

    According to some reports, the IRA, an agency with links to Russian intelligence, had run about 3,000 Facebook election ads using fake accounts. Around 29 million U.S. users saw IRA-specific content on their Facebook news feeds and up to 140 million U.S. users could see Russian-affiliated content on their Facebook or Instagram news page.

    Facebook issued a statement on March 16, 2018 that it has banned Cambridge Analytica, a political data analytics firm from its platform. In the following days, various media outlets reported on Cambridge Analytica, which reportedly used Facebook user’s personal data to try to manipulate voters in the 2016 presidential election28.

    1.5 Blockchain Technology
    Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that allows data to be stored globally on thousands of servers while allowing anyone on the network to see their input in almost real-time. That makes it hard for one user to gain control of the network. Blockchain Technology’s further advantage is its decentralized and distributed ledger that maintains a shared list of records. These records are referred as blocks, and each encrypted block of code contains the history of each block that came before it with transaction data up to the second. Blockchain technology enables individuals to have more privacy when using Internet-based technology.

    1.5.1 Role of Blockchain on social media
    Social media usage in the U.S. had already been on a steady increase over the past few years. But social media privacy became a growing concern in past years. The user information can be exploited, circulated to third parties, and perhaps even sold, generating revenue opportunities for operators of social media sites which are never shared with users whose information has been sold. And if that results in the theft of personal and financial information, a user can do nothing.

    There are several fake accounts on social media platform which posted fake news. Anything can become viral within hours and become a reality. The blockchain can resolve this problem with its cryptographic ledger system. It has the functions such as identity authentication, information verification, and data verification. This system utilizes authentication to validate identities, documents, and messages. Social networking networks are progressing at a rapid rate toward blockchain. Third-party vendors are helping platforms embed this verification technology. Blockchain technology can be used in financial exchanges to protect consumer privacy and also used to preserve private messaging privacy. In certain social media sites this could make people feel more relaxed. Nowadays creators of social media content lose a large amount of money because of the role of social media as a middleman. However, the use of blockchain technology could disrupt this process by taking the middleman out of the equation and enabling content producers to get paid for creating and sharing their content29.

    Over the past year Blockchain has become increasingly popular. In recent months, Facebook has been very busy digging into and deleting fake accounts which have been spreading false news for many years now. If a user does not have control over his / her own data, data can enter third parties. Every post, like, or share creates a behavioral profile of the user. According to your choice, this profile is the reason you get news and advertising. Hacking personal information and selling it to other parties are the issues that social media sector is facing nowadays. Blockchain distributed ledger system can function in the first place to prevent any of this by verifying identity, verifying reported information and data etc. There are applications with blockchain which allow users to monitor their data. We can choose who sees the details and how much. Skycoin is a great example of how users can control their information. Each application includes access permissions to the data, which keeps user information secure. The technology will help users who share with advertisers charge a fee for their details. One can then pick the right people to access the right data30.
    Crowdfunding is one of the activities that happens through social media platforms. The money is also raised for charities. The Blockchain helps the crowdfunding as private, transparent, and faster. Blockchain technology makes investors feel secure and works against money laundering too. Social networks allowed by blockchain make it easier for investors to finance crowds. Peers can track contracts, accept payments and verify users without taking any extreme measures31.

    1.5.2 Blockchain in Social media Election Campaigns
    The growing amount of time spent on social media sites generates new marketing possibilities for research and political campaigns. Political leaders used social media to promote their own campaigns, events, to connect with large audiences, and raise donations. The key disadvantages of social media are lack of anonymity, data security and identity ownership. The coverage voters consume before an election helps form their political opinions. However, due to targeted fake campaigns, voters may find it difficult to identify facts-based sources to accurately inform their vote. The democratic process can be derailed by computer manipulation, digitally doctored images and videos, armed social media and more all. Hackers may even take over an official account of the social media and explicitly disseminate fake information. Social media allows information to be circulated more quickly than facts can be believed to be verified, it is not surprising that falsehoods and pure propaganda have become a major problem.

    Blockchain technology with its cryptographic techniques will ensure digital information comes from a trustworthy, accountable source. Essentially, voters can only consume media marked with a specific cryptographic identifier which can show without a doubt that the media originated when cross-referenced with permanent records on a blockchain. Blockchain distributed ledger system can help in verifying identity, verifying reported information and data authenticity, etc. Media would be considered less trustworthy without an identifier. One of the more interesting potential uses of Blockchain may be counterfeiting fake news32. High levels of personal data protection and the disruptive ads are the reason the blockchain technology is blowing up over social media. Because of its decentralized existence, social media with blockchain allow for end-to-end encryption for any contact. As a result, by using these networks consumers have more anonymity, and a data breach is nearly impossible33.

    The last U.S. presidential election saw a spike in targeted misleading advertising on websites such as Facebook and Twitter used to sway the sentiments and opinions of the electorate. The platforms’ attempts to fix this problem have centered around partnerships with independent fact checkers, but the blockchain offers a potential solution that doesn’t require third parties. Ethereum blockchain, offer promising solutions to verifying the authenticity of user generated videos34.

    Under pressure from public figures and various governments, the giants of social media and search engines have started to take measures to fix the issue. Germany has imposed a 50 million euro fine in the most famous case to penalize social media platforms that keep fake news on their website. Tech leaders like Tim Cook have publicly called on Mark Zuckerberg to help crack down on fake news, as Facebook is primarily a distribution site for fake news stories using by Blockchain and Machine Learning35.

    For the 2020 election cycle, companies are now planning using technology to deal with fake profiles and news, and legislative changes have begun. Twitter banned all paid political advertising and demonstrated its ability to censor state heads. YouTube modified its algorithm to update credible sources of news and removed thousands of propaganda accounts from China. Facebook introduced a separate ad library, allowing users to opt out of political advertising and is currently considering a ban on election ads. Google, which in 2016 saw only around $4,700 in IRA ad spending, banned targeted political advertisements36.

    1 Source: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/how-is-social-media-influencing-elections/
    2 Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/15/about-one-in-five-adult-twitter-users-in-the-u-s-follow-trump/
    3 Source: https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/articles/the-past-decade-and-future-of-political-media-the-ascendance-of-social-media/
    4 Source:https://contentgroup.com.au/2016/11/social-medias-impact-2016-us-presidential-election/
    5 Source: https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/2019-general-election-welcome-social-media-war/1666942
    6 Source: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/facebook-the-conservatives-and-the-risk-to-fair-and-open-elections-in-the-uk(1ab4731d-6fa5-4794-b6c7-5ff8d1164664).html
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    10 Source: https://theasiadialogue.com/2019/04/12/the-dynamics-of-social-media-and-the-indian-elections-2019/
    11 Source: https://www.adnews.com.au/opinion/how-digital-advertising-is-shaping-this-election-campaign
    12 Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-election-socialmedia/german-far-right-far-ahead-in-use-of-social-media-idUSKCN1LT1JC
    13 Source: https://issafrica.org/amp/iss-today/will-social-media-influence-election-campaigning-in-south-africa
    14 Source: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/whatsapp-skewed-brazilian-election-showing-social-medias-danger-to-democracy
    15 Source: https://freedomhouse.org/article/asias-elections-are-plagued-online-disinformation
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    17 Source: https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/2019-general-election-welcome-social-media-war/1666942
    18 Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/14/business/eu-elections-russia-misinformation.html
    19 Source: https://annenberg.usc.edu/communication/digital-social-media-ms/dsm-today/social-media-changing-our-elections
    20 Source: https://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/263903/Pros-amp-Cons-of-Social-Media-in-Politics
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    23 Source: https://recurpost.com/blog/what-is-the-role-of-social-media-in-election-campaigns/
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    26 Source: https://www.authoritylabs.com/election-2016-the-role-social-media-played-in-the-elections/
    27 Source: https://www.journalism.org/2016/07/18/candidates-differ-in-their-use-of-social-media-to-connect-with-the-public/
    28 Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/10/facebook-cambridge-analytica-a-timeline-of-the-data-hijacking-scandal.html
    29 Source: https://www.comparethecloud.net/articles/the-link-between-blockchain-technology-and-social-media/#:~:text=Blockchain%20technology%20enables%20users%20to%20make%20transactions%20in%20a%20private%20way.,-Only%20the%20sender&text=Blockchain%20technology%20in%20the%20social,exploring%20their%20own%20payment%20platforms.
    30 Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewarnold/2018/05/29/how-social-media-can-benefit-from-blockchain-technology/#1d478f731018
    31 Source: https://www.goodworklabs.com/blockchain-technology-in-social-media/
    32 Source: https://www.cbinsights.com/research/report/blockchain-election-security/
    33 Source: https://www.comparethecloud.net/articles/the-link-between-blockchain-technology-and-social-media/
    34 Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/valleyvoices/2018/02/28/how-the-blockchain-can-solve-social-medias-biggest-problems/#61cf23f427cb
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    36 Source: https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/07/14/united-states-election-interference-illegal-social-media/