Case Benalla: policies complain that they appear in a statistical study

Several politicians, including Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Marine Le Pen, complained Friday to appear in a controversial paper around the case of Benalla, and that is already the subject of a statement by the national Commission for computing and liberties (CNIL). The statistical study, carried out by a belgian website, DisinfoLab, focused on the reactions posted on Twitter following the revelations of the case of Benalla, in order to determine a possible interference of the Russian in the mass of posts on the social network. DisinfoLab was then published on its website the list of some 55,000 Twitter accounts have served as the basis for the study, mentioning for each of them their political affiliation assumed, for example, “pro-Mélenchon”, “pro-national Gathering” (RN, ex-FN) or “russophiles”.

“Hey stupid secret agent ! I am not a (robot) Russian. Is it just me, Mélenchon, who tweets against you!” is blocked out Friday on Twitter the leader of France insubordinate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, by signing his message “personnel number 14452”, in reference to the number that his Twitter account was in the published list of DisinfoLab.

“Badge number 14802… Filing, censorship, manipulation of info, barbouzeries… Nice new world !”, also ironisé the president of the national Rally, Marine Le Pen, while the ex-number two in the party, Florian Philippot, president of the Patriots, has denounced the belgian site as “a thing europeanist” who, according to him, “the fact of the filing policy of thousands of opponents of Macron on social networks”.

The member of the Alpes-Maritimes LR Eric Ciotti, for his part, pointed out in a news release methods as “particularly disturbing” and announced that he had referred the matter to the CNIL. The latter had already opened on Thursday a statement to the result of”a significant number” of complaints had been brought before it.

Apologies to the author

The French communist Party has also called for “further investigations” and “required that all measures be taken to protect persons +hit+ and their fundamental rights guaranteed,” while “many of (his) supporters and activists, including parliamentarians, are listed,” he said in a press release. Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, president of Standing the France, also pointed to “a study of the partial and truncated,” which “equates the legitimate reaction to thousands of citizens in the face of the scandal Benalla to their potential policy directions”, and called for “sanctions”.

DisinfoLab has also objected to the charge of filing, explaining that “these data had been published on purpose of the audit methodology and to limit the circulation of a wrong file”. “Our methodology is to export the public data of conversation and analyze them”, added the belgian site.

Friday, one of the authors of the study, Nicolas Vanderbiest, has “apologized”, in a message issued on his Twitter account. “In my eyes, any data on Twitter is public information and there was no personal intervention, because the methodology simply to the emergence of communities only by the interactions,” he argued, while agreeing that “this methodology to be discussed”. The study, conducted from 19 July to 3 August, citing the “more than 4.5 million tweets in French were exchanged” on the case of Benalla, a volume called”exceptional”.

DisinfoLab had initially issued the hypothesis of the interference of accounts “russophiles”, some of which could be robots, before returning to this point, believing that there was no evidence to affirm it.

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