Diaspora Communities and Computational Propaganda on Messaging Apps

CIGI Policy Brief No. 183

January 11, 2024

Computational propaganda harms democratic processes since public opinion can be manipulated by state or non-state actors relying on popular emerging technologies. To rein in the spread of false and misleading information and limit its automated distribution, social media platforms have adopted content moderation regimes. Existing content moderation does not reach messaging apps, which are of a more closed nature and hence protected. Breaking encryption is not a good solution; instead, countering computational propaganda on messaging apps requires a bottom-up approach. Diaspora communities in the United States use messaging apps much more frequently than majority parts of the population. Their voices must be included in media literacy initiatives as well as policy making.

About the Author

Inga Trauthig is the head of research of the Propaganda Research Lab at the Center for Media Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.