Fake news changes shape as EU heads into elections

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LONDON (AP) — The fake news trade has evolved beyond the playbook used by Russian trolls in the U.S. election. As the European Union gears up for a crucial election, it is mostly homegrown groups rather than foreign powers that are taking to social media to push false information and extremist messages, experts say.

And private and encrypted chat apps like WhatsApp are increasingly the favored platforms to spread false information, making it harder to monitor and fight.

There were worries that the bloc's May 23-26 vote for the EU parliament would be a ripe target for foreign meddling. So far, tech companies say they haven't found signs of a coordinated operation by foreign actors. There is, though, a constant buzz of false information that mainly seeks to erode the EU's image.

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