Ahmed Al-Rawi: How did Russian and Iranian trolls’ disinformation influence Canadian politics?

March 02, 2021

School of Communication Assistant Professor Ahmed Al-Rawi recent publication "How did Russian and Iranian trolls’ disinformation toward Canadian issues diverge and converge?" in the journal of Digital War details Russian and Iranian trolls' intervention in Canadian politics including the 2015 federal election.

The social media campaigns by the two countries aimed to misinform all Canadian voters on the political spectrum by spreading misinformation about election issues and political candidates.

Al-Rawi reviewed publicly available data from Twitter to analyze millions of tweets for Canadian keywords like: Trudeau, Harper, Toronto, Vancouver.

His analyzation found Russian troll accounts were spreading misinformation to support Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada while Iranian troll accounts were doing the same, but in support of Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada.

While the Canadian federal government acknowledges ongoing cyber threat activity, Al-Rawi's new publication provides insight how state-sponsored troll accounts continue to spread misinformation on social media.