• Bullseye on Brussels: Can EU Defeat Disinformation in Parliamentary Elections?

    The vast amount of foreign meddling in the 2016 US presidential election was a wakeup call for the European Union (EU). It was obvious the next big target of malign actors would be Europe, with twenty-eight countries electing more than 750 lawmakers in May 2019.

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  • The Christchurch Call and the Failure of US Leadership

    The Christchurch Call, signed by eighteen national governments and eight major technology companies on May 15, represents a significant development in the fields of counterterrorism and Internet policy. The statement comes two months after a white ethno-nationalist terrorist used a Facebook livestream to broadcast his massacre of fifty-one worshippers in a Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque. It commits its signatories to explore legal, regulatory, and technical solutions to counter the online spread of terrorist and violent extremist content. The Trump administration refused to sign, citing unspecified free speech concerns.

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  • How the West Can Confront a Resurgent Russia

    The United States, working with its allies and democratic partners, can push back against Russian aggression, which has been marked by interference in elections in the United States and Europe; the harassment, invasion, and annexation of neighbors; and the propping up of despots in places such as Syria and Venezuela, Atlantic Council Distinguished Fellow Daniel Fried told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 1.

    “The world’s great and emerging democracies have the power and political legitimacy” to not only push back against Russia, but also “to maintain a rules-based system that favors freedom and advances our nation’s interests and other nations’ interests,” Fried said at a hearing on “Countering a Resurgent Russia.”

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  • 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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