Gavin Williamson compares Russian bots to Nazi propagandists

Posted On: 
27th March 2018

Gavin Williamson has warned of the danger of Russian bots, comparing them to wartime Nazi propagandists.

Gavin Williamson said Russian bots were the 'Lord Haw Haw' of the modern era

The Defence Secretary, who last week told the Kremlin to "go away and shut up", said thousands of fake online accounts were being used to "distort the narrative" around international affairs.

He spoke out after it emerged that thousands of Russian bots were being used to produce disinformation about the recent nerve agent attack in Salisbury, which left former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in hospital. 

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“What actually happens is it completely distorts the narrative of what people think about things,” Mr Williamson told the Times.

“We have to make sure that that narrative is countered.

"It is effectively the Lord Haw-Haws of the modern era."

Lord Haw-Haw was the alias of William Joyce, the Englishman who moved to Germany before the outbreak of war and produced pro-Nazi radio propaganda during the conflict.

It is the second time in recent days that a senior minister has compared Vladimir Putin's government to the Nazis.

Last week Boris Johnson said it was "certainly right" to draw a parallel between the upcoming football World Cup and the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Those comments were branded "unacceptable and totally irresponsible" by the Russian ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko.

Elsewhere six more countries have said they are considering a boycott of the football tournament in a show of solidarity with Theresa May's government. 

Poland, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Australia and Japan have all indicated they will not send officials to Russia, while others may follow.