The number of countries promoting disinformation on social media rose to its highest level during the past year, a new study has found. The report, from the pro-democracy think tank Freedom House, found manipulation tactics in elections in at least 18 countries in the last 12 months, including the United States. But while Russia (and America) have used such tactics to promote their own interests abroad, more countries are employing people to shape the opinions of their electorates and crack down on internal dissent, the report found.

The findings, which represent the seventh consecutive year that the think tank has recorded a global decline in internet freedom, identified several trends contributing to governments’ growing power. They…

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