Investigations

Have you spotted a post, a tweet, a reference or other content that seems misleading?
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Is it safe to judge the popularity of a political party based on the number of its Twitter followers? Probably not. Following BuzzFeed’s article regarding the suspicious nature of the rapid increase in followers of the Twitter account of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, Pagella Politica has started an analysis of the Twitter followers of the main Italian political parties.

What are the hottest topics for false information in different EU countries? Thanks to the collaboration with the Finnish fact-checking organization FaktaBaari, Pagella Politica has compared their most recurrent themes in Italy and Finland to see whether major differences exist. The outcome of the investigation was that in both countries migrants and people of different religions are most often at the core of disinformation campaigns. In Italy, however, another very recurrent theme for false news is politicians, whereas the same is not true for Finland.

Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán has delivered a speech in which he questioned Finland’s role in judging Hungary’s adherence to the Rule of Law based on some institutional features of the Nordic country.

But what is the Rule of Law? Is Orbán’s description of Finland’s legal system accurate? Are the elements mentioned by Orbán fundamental to the Rule of Law? Pagella Politica and Faktabaari have decided to undertake a joint effort in order to answer to these queries.

The result? The Hungarian Prime Minister grossly misrepresents Finnish institutional system and the principles of the Rule of law to prove his point.

Following an article published before the European elections on national parties, Pagella Politica has undertaken research on Twitter followers of six Italian political leaders by using TruthNest. What has emerged is that all individual leaders are followed by a consistent share of suspicious accounts. A share that is even larger of what was previously found in relation to followers of political parties.

These findings reinforce previous research and open avenues for additional investigations. This is just the initial step of a long term project that Pagella Politica and other SOMA’s partners have embarked on to analyze Twitter followers of world politicians.