Research

Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Final Report by House of Commons

By House of Commons, UK Parliament Summary This is the Final Report in an inquiry on disinformation that has spanned over 18 months, covering individuals’ rights over their privacy, how their political choices might be affected and influenced by online information, and interference in political elections both in this country and across the world—carried out by malign forces intent on causing disruption and confusion. We have used the powers of

Robotrolling 2019. Issue 1

By NATO Strategic Communication Centre of Excellence Executive summary This report presents top-level findings from the first research project to systematically track and measure the scale of inauthentic activity on the Russian social network VK. On VK, a vocal core consisting of loyal news media, pro-Kremlin groups, and bots and trolls dominates the conversation about NATO. The volume of material from this core group is such, that overall genuine users

Coverage of the Kerch Strait incident in Czech, Hungarian and Slovak media

By Katarína Klingová, Lóránt Györi, Jonáš Syrovátka, for GLOBSEC On November 25 2018 Russian naval forces rammed, fired shots at and then seized Ukrainian vessels and their crews after they purportedly entered Russia’s twelve-mile territorial zone within the Kerch Strait. The incident heightened tensions between the Russian Federation and Ukraine following Moscow’s unlawful annexation of Crimea in 2014. It also highlighted the tense legal status of the Strait and Azov Sea,

Hybrid threats: Analysis of content, callenges posed and measures to overcome

By Eitvydas Bajarūnas and Vytautas Keršanskas, for Sciendo Volume/Issue: Volume 16: Issue 1 First Online: 11 Jan 2019 Page Count: 123–170 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/lasr-2018-0006 Abstract The study analyses, in both theoretical and practical aspects, the topic of hybrid warfare and threats that have become particularly relevant after Russia’s war in Ukraine. First, the authors examine the theoretical debates, concerning the definition of hybrid threats by singling out its main elements and

Strategic Analysis: Going Beyond Resilience. A revitalised approach to countering hybrid threats

By Heine Sørensen & Dorthe Bach Nyemann, for HybridCOE Strategic Analysis January 8, 2019 “Whereas resilience is a necessary building block in creating a coherent strategy towards Russia, it is nevertheless insufficient when it comes to deterring Russia from unwanted ads”, writes Heine Sørensen and Dorthe Bach Nyemann from the Institute for Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College. Download By Heine Sørensen & Dorthe Bach Nyemann, for HybridCOE

Russian influence operations on Twitter

By Alex Krasodomski-Jones, Carl Miller, Jamie Bartlett Josh Smith, Agnès Chauvet, for Demos On 17 October 2018 Twitter released two previously unseen datasets: nine million tweets from accounts that Twitter believes to be controlled by the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA). This short paper lays out an attempt to measure how much activity from Russian state-operated accounts released in the dataset made available by Twitter was targeted at the United Kingdom. Finding

Checking facts and fighting back: Why journalists should defend their profession

By Raymond J. Pingree, Brian Watson, Mingxiao Sui, Kathleen Searles, Nathan P. Kalmoe, Joshua P. Darr, Martina Santia, Kirill Bryanov Published: December 10, 2018 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0208600 Abstract Bias accusations have eroded trust in journalism to impartially check facts. Traditionally journalists have avoided responding to such accusations, resulting in an imbalanced flow of arguments about the news media. This study tests what would happen if journalists spoke up more in defense of

Chaos as a strategy: Putin’s “Promethean” Gamble

By Donald N. Jensen, Peter B. Doran, for CEPA 15 November 2018 Can Vladimir Putin’s nonlinear strategy succeed against the West? For all of Russia’s weaknesses as a Great Power, the Kremlin increasingly is willing to take risks—sometimes recklessly—to balance its disadvantages against the relative power of Western competitors like the United States. Risk taking is a dangerous business for any state—declining or otherwise. But what if the Kremlin believed that

How to boost the Western response to Russian hostile influence operations

By Jakub Janda, for European View Abstract The Russian Federation has become a rogue state in international relations, invading and occupying the territories of three European countries (Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine), waging war in the Ukrainian territory, producing massive disinformation campaigns against the West, threatening the Baltic republics, and interfering in various elections and referendums. Despite Russia’s aggressive behaviour, the West’s response to it has been significantly limited, particularly when

Smearing Sweden: International Influence Campaigns in the 2018 Swedish Election

By Chloe Colliver, Peter Pomerantsev, Anne Applebaum, Jonathan Birdwell, for ISD October 2018 This report presents the findings of a project that investigated foreign attempts to influence the 2018 Swedish elections online. The project revealed the relative isolation of the Swedish far-right online, with few internationally coordinated efforts identified in the Swedish election information ecosystem. Online Scandinavian far-right networks made some attempts to seed disinformation and hate campaigns in Sweden

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