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The Role of Search Engines in Contesting or Reinforcing Election Fraud Narratives

This commentary from the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy is a continuation of a limited number of previous studies that have investigated the role of search engines in promoting or debunking election-related rumors or conspiracy theories. It also builds upon six years of research conducted by ASD looking at the ways in which search engines can be exploited by state-backed actors seeking to advance preferred narratives around a range of topics—from the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) efforts to promote conspiracy theories about the origins of the coronavirus to Russia’s attempts to discredit investigations into the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, the former Russian intelligence agent and his daughter who were poisoned in Salisbury, the United Kingdom, in 2017.