France Disinformation Profile

From ADTAC Disinformation Inventory

Foreign Disinformation Operations

Domestic Disinformation

French Media Environment

France is rated 34th out of 180 countries on the 2020 World Press Freedom Index.[1]France has a free press and most news outlets are not linked to political parties. France has many highly active social media users and 83% of the population actively uses the internet according to the World Bank in 2019.[2]

French Themes in Foreign Influence Campaigns

A study which analyzed Tweets from 2010 to 2020 found campaigns originating in Iran, Serbia, Turkey, Russia, and Venezuela addressing French themes such as the French terror attacks, elections, bilateral news and events, and protests. These campaigns were typically directed to their respective domestic audiences instead of France.[3]

The 2017 Presidential Election

The attribution is unclear but during the French 2017 Presidential Election an anonymous user of 4chan posted allegedly leaked documents that supposedly proved Macron was guilty of tax evasion. The leak was done just before the French press legally could not report on the documents due to election laws limiting the press before an election.[4] The attribution of the documents is unclear, the Macron campaign alleged that some websites disseminating the documents were linked to Russia. The International mainstream media debunked the alleged leak and the impact of the leak is unclear.[5] A network of bots and automated accounts shared the documents as well as Wikileaks who posted it as "alleged" and acknowledged that they might be false.[6]