In the last two years, the quality and dissemination of news has attracted considerable attention. One question, in this context, is how social media can be used to actively promote particular political viewpoints. A recent dimension, on social media, is the question of Russian influence. This issue is of particular interest in Russia’s neighborhood, yet also in established democracies that previously were thought immune from such meddling.
The Republic of Moldova has its own experience to contribute, to this broader debate. In Moldova, Russia has a special hold on the public conversation through Odnoklassniki, a Russia-based social network. Odnoklassniki is one of the most popular social networks in Moldova, with over 1 million unique visitors per month, and multiple high-profile groups that promote Russian points of view.
This research thus is of relevance both within the Republic of Moldova, but also beyond, for people who are interested in understanding how Russian propaganda works. A thorough understanding of these mechanisms of propaganda seems necessary in order to develop counter-strategies. At this point, no such strategies are yet in place in the Republic of Moldova itself.