Disinformation

  • Has Progress Been Made in Containing Disinformation?

    The spread of online disinformation during the 2018 election campaigns in Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil demonstrated to social media companies that they need to “make sure that we are not solving just the problems that we saw in the US in 2016, but that we are really thinking steps ahead,” according to Katie Harbath, public policy director of global elections at Facebook.


    The three high-profile elections in Latin America made up “one of our very first big test cases” for new measures meant to limit the spread of false information on Facebook, Harbath said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on March 28. But while Facebook has had some success in limiting harmful activity on its platform, Harbath explained “we have to have different solutions for all of our different platforms.”


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  • Seminar on Fighting Disinformation by Democratic Means

    On March 28, 2019, the Atlantic Council Northern Europe Office in collaboration with the U.S Embassy in Stockholm, organized a day seminar on 'Resistance and Resilience: Fighting Disinformation by Democratic Means.' The seminar brought together journalists, academic experts, civil society and representatives of government and organizations to discuss the challenge presented by disinformation and different ways to improve resilience ahead of a string of elections in Europe during 2019.


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  • Disinformation in Democracies: Strengthening Digital Resilience in Latin America

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    2018 saw political tides turn in three of Latin America’s largest democracies. These elections also saw deep polarization and distrust in institutions among Brazilians, Mexicans, and Colombians in an information environment ripe with disinformation. And while disinformation and misinformation are nothing new, the spread of false information at alarming rates – facilitated by politicians, non-state actors, or even our own families and friends – are more effective and worrisome than ever. With this trend unlikely to change, how can we detect and combat this borderless phenomenon? What's next in the...

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  • #DisinfoWeek Madrid 2019

    Atlantic Council

    #DisinfoWeek Madrid 2019

     


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  • Is Regulation of Social Media Companies the Answer to Disinformation?

    While social media companies have taken some initial steps toward tackling the problem of disinformation on their platforms, democratic governments “shouldn’t just be reliant on the fact that Facebook or Google may or may not be doing a good job” identifying or eliminating misleading or harmful content, according to UK Member of Parliament Damian Collins. Right now, Collins argued, governments “only have their word” as evidence that social media companies are adequately addressing the disinformation threat.


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  • How to Kill a Disinformation Narrative: Make it a Whodunit

    When trying to stop the spread of disinformation by malign foreign and domestic actors online, “it’s not enough to do the fact-checking,” according to Ben Nimmo, senior fellow for information defense at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. To really kill the power of the disinformation, “we have to do the story telling,” he argued.

    Speaking at the Atlantic Council’s Disinfo Week event in Brussels, Belgium, on March 8, Nimmo suggested that too many policy makers are focused on disinformation as an information warfare problem rather than “narrative warfare.” It is not access to better or new information that is making Russian and domestic extremist propaganda more successful online, Nimmo said, quite the contrary. “We have the facts,” Nimmo explained, but “they have the stories.”


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  • Fried quoted in Euractiv on Russia disinformation


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  • #DisinfoWeek Athens 2019

    Atlantic Council

    #DisinfoWeek Athens 2019

     


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  • The Western Balkans: A Growing Disinformation Battleground

    As democracies around the world struggle to counter online disinformation, the developing democracies of the Western Balkans “have been hit by this new wave of disinformation being much less prepared or resilient than Western societies,” according to Jelena Milic, director of the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies in Serbia. The region, which saw devastating conflicts in the 1990s following the breakup of Yugoslavia, has been increasingly targeted by foreign-backed and homegrown disinformation in recent years, made worse by deep public mistrust of governmental institutions.

    Milic and other regional experts discussed the rise of disinformation in the region as part of the Atlantic Council’s Disinfo Week event series, which brought together government officials and counter-disinformation researchers for four days on discussions in three European cities (March 4 in Athens, March 5 in Madrid, and March 7-8 in Brussels).


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  • US Ambassador to EU Promises Transatlantic Unity in Disinformation Fight

    “Russia is trying to use a strength of our democracies – our openness, our flow of information – to destabilize us,” US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland warned on March 7. But while “the Kremlin is using the same tactics in an attempt to weaken the credibility of America’s commitment to Europe,” he continued, the United States’ “alliance with the European Union is unshaken, is strong, and is deep.”

    Sondland, addressing the Atlantic Council’s Disinfo Week event in Brussels, Belgium, stressed that the United States and Europe remain on the same page when it comes to disinformation, despite temporary disagreements on trade and defense spending. “We are determined not to allow the Kremlin to undermine our democratic institutions,” he said. “Neither will they shake America’s commitment to Europe, nor undermine transatlantic unity…we’ve weathered far worse than an onslaught of propaganda from Russian troll farms.”


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