Did Team Jorge manipulate elections worldwide?
The international media network Forbidden Stories has uncovered the activities of an undercover cyber organisation based in Israel. Team Jorge has reportedly been hired by external clients over many years to manipulate elections across the globe using hacker attacks, bots, fake news and fake social media accounts. Europe's media are alarmed - but are not giving up on democracy yet.
Investigative journalism on a rescue mission
Naftemporiki praises the value of investigative journalism:
“Good connections to Israeli security circles may have ensured that Team Jorge was able to operate under the radar. Team Jorge was or still is a cog in the wheel of the global disinformation industry. Experts estimate that there are more than 1,000 companies worldwide offering disinformation campaigns, hacking attacks and other dirty methods. Perhaps investigative journalism will be able to clean up the mess. Because fortunately there are investigative journalists who will hopefully bring the whole truth about this nightmare of democracy to light.”
Promote security and careful research
Le Soir says Forbidden Stories' revelations should boost the motivation to better protect ourselves against election manipulation:
“First, we must always question the news that reaches us and choose our sources of information conscientiously. Second, we need to remind the media of the vital requirement not to publish anything that has not been carefully checked using multiple sources. ... And thirdly, we must set up the necessary budgets, institutions and police units which are able to take action against these industries and producers of fake news in an international network.”
Countermeasures just smoke and mirrors
France Inter is stunned by the scale of the manipulation:
“The real surprise of the Team Jorge affair is not that these practices exist, but that they continue on such a large scale. ... The Internet giants had already announced measures, but as we see today they are completely inadequate. ... All the announcements of recent years turn out to be smoke and mirrors when you hear what this investigation has uncovered. Either the states start regulating and controlling or we will drown in a flood of disinformation. And we will no longer be able to say: 'We didn't know'.”