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Canada warns of Russian 'bot farm' powered by AI spreading online disinformation

Last Updated Jul 10, 2024 at 10:43 am MDT

Canadian security officials are warning of a Russian propaganda campaign that is spreading online disinformation through social media site X. A man uses a computer keyboard in Toronto in a Sunday, Oct. 9, 2023 photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

OTTAWA — Canadian security officials are warning of a Russian propaganda campaign that is spreading online disinformation on social-media site X.

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security says individuals affiliated with RT, formerly known as Russia Today, have been using a social-media bot farm at the direction of the Russian government.

Officials say fake social-media users create to spread disinformation often posed as Americans and promote messages in support of Russian government objectives.

Canada, along with the United States and Netherlands, have been working together to disrupt the disinformation campaign, but officials warn that similar activity could pop up on other sites.

Last month, NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg cautioned during a visit to Canada that disinformation is a threat to the defensive alliance and its efforts to arm Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.

The warning also comes as American and Canadian officials grapple with how to counter foreign attempts to disrupt elections using AI and disinformation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2024.

The Canadian Press