HomeDanish PoliticsSwedish far-right party accused of running troll factory on social media

Swedish far-right party accused of running troll factory on social media

In Denmark’s neighbor country Sweden, the Sweden Democrats have been accused of running a so-called “troll factory,” where the party attacks political opponents and spreads misinformation through fake profiles on social media. This was revealed in hidden recordings made by the Swedish investigative magazine “Kalla fakta” on TV4. According to the recordings, employees of the Sweden Democrats have used social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook to carry out these actions. Additionally, the party has allegedly used artificial intelligence to create videos with manipulated audio and video, known as deepfakes, to imitate well-known personalities.

Luca Rossi, a lecturer at the IT University of Copenhagen and an expert in social media, points out that troll factories are an easy and cost-effective way to conduct political communication. “We have seen similar cases in several countries that have been both economically and politically motivated,” he says. In Denmark, there have also been cases where political parties such as the Liberal Alliance and the Danish People’s Party have shared manipulated material of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (S) for satirical purposes. This has raised questions about the use of artificial intelligence in political communication, which the parties in the Danish Parliament will discuss at a meeting convened by the Presidium of the Danish Parliament.

Benjamin Rud Elberth, an advisor in political digital communication, emphasizes the importance of parties taking a stand on the use of technology early in the process. “What happens if these tools fall into the wrong hands, or if a party is in a pressured situation during an election campaign?” he asks. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has criticized the use of manipulated video content and described it as “destructive to our democratic conversation.” At the same time, “Kalla fakta” has been reported to the Swedish Press Council by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MPF) for taking interviews out of context. These events highlight the ethical and democratic dilemmas that modern technologies can bring to political communication, and the need to regulate and monitor their use.

Read the danish version here

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