Author Biography

İrem IŞIK is an undergraduate at Galatasaray University, Faculty of Law.

Ömer Faruk BİLDİK is an undergraduate at Galatasaray University, Faculty of Law.

Tayanç Tunca MOLLA, LL.M. is a full-time research assistant, PhD candidate in public law, specialty international law; at Galatasaray University, Faculty of Law, Department of International Law and Institute of Social Sciences.



Subject Area Keywords

Cybersecurity, Information operations, International law, National security, Social media


According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2014, the Russian government-connected Internet Research Agency (IRA) initiated an information operation on social media platforms to manipulate the U.S. population concerning the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. This has revealed that social media platforms enable the spread of fake news among the masses globally and can thus become a means of disrupting the electoral process for foreign actors. This article addresses state-sponsored disinformation operations on social media that target foreign voters. It considers it crucial to counter such operations to protect the security and integrity of the elections in the digital age, which is a vital national interest. Despite some mitigation efforts given after 2016, social media platforms continued to be exploited by the States seeking to influence the outcome of foreign elections through the dissemination of false information. This article argues that international law could play an essential role in combating state-sponsored disinformation operations. In this regard, it elaborates on sovereignty and non-intervention principles, and the right to self-determination.