Is Michelle Obama Really the World’s Most Admired Person?

A recently published You.gov survey claims that Michelle Obama is the world’s most admired person. I don’t know how counting is done in the world of surveys but if you count only in how many countries Michelle Obama was the number one choice then the statement is not correct. Then the count is 23 No and 17 Yes (the survey says 41 countries were surveyed but the site only shows results for 40).

I suspect that the survey also took into account how often Michelle Obama was rated near the top, like in the top three. Then you end up with 5 second places and 4 third places for a total of 26 countries in her favor.

I did a quick analysis of the data available on the You.gov site and this is what I found.

17 countries chose Michelle Obama as number one. 14 of these countries are first world countries. 23 other countries chose local talent 16 times and foreign talent 7 times over Michelle Obama. Melania Trump beat Michelle Obama in Russia. Angelina Jolie is still the number one foreign choice.

What does this tell us? That 13 of the first world countries prefer Michelle Obama over local talent. Why is that? Are these countries really so intellectually bankrupt that they have no locals to be proud of? What does Michelle O. represent to these countries that makes her their number one choice? I suspect media exposure played a large role in their decision to make Michelle O. number one.

My conclusion is that Michelle Obama’s popularity is a limited first world phenomenon, nothing more. Certainly not global.

The European Unions’s Russian Disinformation Review

The flagship product of the EU vs Disinformation campaign, the Disinformation Review, was launched in November 2015. The Review brings you the latest news articles carrying key examples of how pro-Kremlin disinformation finds its way into the international information space, as well as news and analysis on the topic. The Review focuses on key messages carried in the media, which have been identified as providing a partial, distorted or false view or interpretation and spreading key pro-Kremlin messaging.

Some of the topics covered:

Infographic: Tracing Five Years of Pro-Kremlin Disinformation about MH17

The Journalists Who Exist Only on Paper: New Eastern Outlook, NEO, an English-language website, is a hardworking disinformation portal.

Operation Secondary Infektion: A far-reaching and sophisticated Russian disinformation operation, most likely deriving from Russian intelligence. The evidence suggests it ran for several years, with some content dating as far back as 2014.

It took 3 to 10 days for the Russian Internet Research Agency to increase polarization of the #BlackLivesMatter debate on Twitter, research by scholars from Oxford and Amsterdam universities shows.

Three Things You Should Know About RT and Sputnik