Keeping a wary eye on the transnational extreme right during election 2019 - 2019-06-13
Worrying about Russian interference in our elections – or possibly even Chinese – is a hot topic in media and political circles. I raise my hand as one of those voices that's pointed to the capacity for foreign actors to try to put their finger on the scale of our upcoming federal election, or just to sow distrust in our democratic institutions.
But the more that researchers take a look at what is happening in countries around the world, the more the threat appears much more complex than just the Kremlin pulling strings. What's also apparent is a transnational extreme right movement exists, connecting and strategizing with local groups through online networks – sometimes further backed by Russia, but not always.
International researchers have been sounding the alarm that the extreme right is using increasingly sophisticated online strategies to amplify its messages on social media platforms, seeking to bring fringe ideologies into the mainstream.