There's a superb article in today's FT by Andres Schipani about the upcoming elections in Brazil and the impact that fake news and radicalised networks will have on the contest. Brazilians are the second most active users of social media in the world, and there area already several organisations on both left and right who have made it their business to increase polarisation and spread fake news. There is some hope for candidates who are consistent and clear whenever they speak and who stand up for ordinary people - having a mission and sticking to that mission will make it harder for people to attack them, although it will not stop those attacks.
Signify's Chief Operating Officer Joe Harrod is quoted in the article talking about the consistent playbook for online subversion in politics: troll in public, recruit in the shadows. As a company we have seen this playbook develop and expand in a clear line through Brexit, Trump and Le Pen - but candidate Marina Silva makes a fair point that she has been the victim of misinformation since at least 2014. Or as she says “Fake news didn’t start with Trump, it started with me in 2014”.
The article is well worth reading in full on the FT but our favourite quote is from Marina who closes the piece by saying “The way people win will determine the way they govern. The person who wins by lying will govern by lying.”