As war looms over Ukraine, Russian sources have struggled to create a miasma of disinformation about the invasion.In a massive reality-bending effort, the Russian Defense Ministry recently claimed that a U.S.-backed Ukrainian lab development of biological weapons. As outlandish as this lie is, Fox’s Tucker Carlson believe it Arguing that the U.S. government’s response was a “coverup.”
As the Russian-Ukrainian war intensifies, so will the spread of disinformation. It’s an age-old strategy long employed by Russia, and a playbook that others, especially anti-vaccine activists, have borrowed heavily. Instead of concentrating on convincing people to believe lies, however, Russia’s strategy employs a strategy reminiscent of a strategy long employed by the tobacco industry: sowing so much doubt about what’s true that it paralyzes people into decision-making. In the face of wild and contradictory claims, people do nothing, not sure what is right.
Although only a small part of our media diet, in our digital world, disinformation campaigns can have devastating effects. We are inherently biased towards emotionally visceral messages.We value content that scares or angers us more, and the ability to provoke anger is the single biggest predictor Does the content go viral. This pushes the most visceral and divisive narratives to the forefront of the discourse, sparking a clamor of hotly debated claims and counterclaims. In that atmosphere, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine what to believe, and it becomes easier to abandon the task of discerning the truth.
If we do not want to fall prey to this level of dishonesty, it is vital that we question our sources more carefully now than ever before.
Indecision and distraction have always been at the heart of Russia Informatization (disinformation) policy, Stalin himself was the word credit to coinage. Russia, although an ancient concept, was Master the dark obfuscation technique Refined for the age of mass communication.At the beginning of the Soviet Empire, they realized this potential on an industrial scale, in the world’s first office dedicated to dealing with disinformation 1923. In the 1960s, the KGB surreptitiously sponsored fringe groups in the United States to expand conspiracy theory Everything from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to water fluoridation.
Target, as KGB Major General Oleg Kalukin clarify In 1998, it was “Not intelligence gathering, but subversion: active measures to weaken the West, sow discord among various Western community alliances, especially NATO, sow discord among allies, weaken the United States in the minds of the peoples of Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America. …“. Infection action, the myth of the mid-1980s clandestine spread of AIDS as a biological weapon designed by the CIA is just one notorious example. While entirely fictional, it resonates with a community ravaged by HIV and one ignored by the ruthless apathy of the Reagan administration. Although Russian intelligence was held responsible for the lie in 1992, the tradition of AIDS denial persists globally.
During the Cold War, “doctrine”Active measures” was the beating heart of Soviet intelligence. This philosophy of political and information warfare was broad in scope, including front-line organization, media manipulation, forgery, infiltration of peaceful organizations, and even the occasional assassination.
In our age of media saturation, Russia has by far been the most ardent user of disinformation.take 2016 US Presidential Election and controversial Brexit referendum; Russia seems to influence through lies and distortions.
But disinformation is not limited to geopolitics.go through Summer 2020the European Commission has identified a harmonized Russia pushes to spread COVID disinformation globally. From the beginning of the pandemic, Kremlin-backed troll farms have pushed this narrative: COVID is an engineered bioweapon, peddling explosive fiction that 5G radio frequencies cause virus– a lie that led to dozens of arson attacks Cell phone towers around the world.
There is a dark irony that people with conspiracies can be weaponized in conspiracies they are completely unaware of. The enduring mantra of the virus as a biological weapon is a stark reminder that in the age of social media, such manipulation has become easier and more effective. Perhaps the most damning example of this is the cynical rise of anti-vaccine propaganda.
The absolute efficacy of vaccination is scientifically indisputable, and after clear water, immunization is the most life-saving intervention in human history. Still, the past decade has seen a sharp decline in global vaccine confidence.The resurgence of a once almost conquered disease prompts WHO to declare indecision on vaccine Top 10 threats to public health in 2019.
Vaccine hesitancy is a spectrum rather than a simple binary, and Exposure to anti-vaccine conspiracy theories Push recipients to decline. But crucially, many of those who refuse to be vaccinated are not outright anti-vaccine zealots, they are simply frightened by what they are hearing and unsure of what to believe.We are prone to illusory truth effects exacerbated this inertia, because the mere repetition of a novel is enough for us to accept it, even if we know it is intellectually wrong.While Russia often amplifies anti-vaccine conspiracies Theories that escalate tensionsthe anti-vaccine movement exists independently of these efforts and is a master at sowing doubt with a torrent of conflicting and emotional claims.
This illustrates the stark reality of disinformation requiring no consistency and zero commitment to objective reality; claims are often contradictory, arguing both sides of the coin in exaggerated and divisive ways. This”Russian fire hoseThe propaganda model is high-yield, contradictory, and multi-channel. The stream encourages us to sleepwalk into apathy, distrusting everything. It makes us extremely malleable and dangerously out of touch.
When it comes to vaccinations, worried parents often choose to stay with the devil they know, delaying or even refusing vaccinations, rather than sifting through the symphony of conflicting claims they suffer. Likewise, the plethora of fictional stories about Ukraine, its President Volodymyr Zelensky and the war are designed to overwhelm our analytical powers and tempt us to implicitly accept uncertainty about aggressors and victims—a kind of Artificial suspicion benefits Russia and others.
Conviction is not the primary goal of disinformation; it is doubtful. That’s why anti-vaccine activists are so successful online, and why Russia’s troll farms devote vast resources to peddling almost everywhere. The ubiquity of these novels gives them an implicit legitimacy, fueling polarization and distrust.
This is a strategy that Putin continues to pursue; Russian propaganda has tried to paint Ukraine (or NATO/US) as an aggressor with disinformation.Biden administration Creative Ways to Release Intelligence Before ActionOn social media, Russian front groups are still trying to raise suspicions, an effort that will only intensify as the war progresses. The old adage that truth is the first casualty of war.