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Russian media put out “fake news” on French election campaign - Watchdog

Russian media put out “fake news” on French election campaign - WatchdogFrance’s polling commission has issued a warning over a Russian news report suggesting conservative candidate François Fillon leads the race for the presidency, contradicting the findings of mainstream opinion polls.

This is reported by The Guardian.

Almost all media in France are drawing on polls that have shown since mid-February that conservative candidate François Fillon, a former prime minister, is trailing in third place behind centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, and the Front National candidate, Marine Le Pen, for the 23 April first round. Third place would mean Fillon’s elimination from the 7 May runoff.

State-run Sputnik carried different findings in a report on 29 March under the headline: “2017 presidential elections: the return of Fillon at the head of the polls.” It quoted Moscow-based Brand Analytics, an online audience research firm, as saying that its study based on an analysis of French social media put Fillon out in front.

In a statement, France’s polling commission said the study could not be described as representative of public opinion and Sputnik had wrongly called it a poll as defined by law in France.

Sputnik published an earlier online survey by the firm from mid-February that also showed Fillon with a strong lead over Macron and Le Pen at a time when other polls showed Macron’s candidacy beginning to surge with Fillon in third place.

Richard Burr, head of the US Senate intelligence committee which is investigating the Russian hacking during the 2016 US presidential campaign, said last week that the Kremlin was trying to interfere in the French vote.
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