European Elections in the V4: From disinformation campaigns to narrative amplification
"This research looks at the intensity of information operations in relation to the recent European elections in the V4 countries, the tactics that have been utilised as well as the shift from the deployment of easily disproven disinformation to more sophisticated narrative amplification and manipulation of facts.
Similar narratives have resonated across all the monitored channels in the V4 states: migration portrayed as an existential threat combined with general negative portrayal of the EU (the mythical ‘dictate of Brussels’) were promoted the most.
In all the countries, parties on the fringe of the political spectrum with divisive agendas have been actively promoted on the monitored channels which often publish disinformation or dubious content with the aim to further polarise societies on national and European level. The sole exception is Hungary, where the ruling party has received by far the highest number of positive mentions.
- In Czechia, the most active channel has been the Russian state-owned outlet Sputnik.cz which actively promoted the extreme far-left KSČM and extreme far-right SPD parties.
- Hungary was affected by the most intensive disinformation campaign and spread of conspiracy theories of all the V4 countries.
- In Poland, the portrayal of the Law and Justice party has been negative rather than positive, while the far-right Confederation Korwin has been actively promoted in line with the observed strategy aiming to constantly increase societal polarisation.
- In Slovakia, channels which often publish disinformation or controversial content arbitrarily support those extreme political representatives which have higher chance of succeeding in a given election."