Seventy countries engaged in social media manipulation either domestically or in a foreign nation in 2019, up 150 percent since 2017, when only 28 countries practiced this cyberwarfare technique. The goals of these campaigns can range from suppressing human rights to discrediting political opposition, drowning out political dissent or manipulating opinion in another country, according to a report from the University of Oxford in England.

Source: Samantha Bradshaw and Philip N. Howard, “The Global Disinformation Order,” Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Sept. 26, 2019,

Data for the graphic are as follows:

Year Number of Countries Using Social Media Manipulation
2017 28
2018 48
2019 70

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