Study details ways Russian and Iranian trolls tried to influence Canada’s 2015 election

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Before Russian internet trolls tried to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, they were already using social media in an attempt to sway voters in Canada. That’s according to a new study from Simon Fraser University, which details the ways both Russian and Iranian trolls spread disinformation on Twitter in the lead-up to the 2015 Canadian election won by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Study author Ahmed Al-Rawi said the separate campaigns were designed to disparage candidates on different sides of the political spectrum, and, more generally, to sow division among the Canadian electorate. “These trolls know what they are doing,” said Al-Rawi. “It seems they’ve studied Canadian culture and society well, and they know exactly who to target.”