• Why Public Trust in Elections Is Being Undermined by Global Disinformation Campaigns

    Public trust in elections is being targeted around the world by a series of disinformation campaigns from a range of international players. There are often similar campaigns run by domestic political players, as has been the case, for example, in the United States, Brazil, and Mexico. These campaigns are giving rise to an increasing lack of trust in how votes are counted. The overall purpose is to create mistrust of the core institutions of liberal democracy, including parliaments, mainstream media, elections, and the judiciary.

  • Russian Trolls Tried to Distract American Voters with Entertainment

    In a finding that has implications for the 2022 midterm elections, Cornell researchers found Russia tried to distract liberal voters during the 2016 presidential campaign with a seemingly innocent weapon – tweets about music and videos – taking a page from its domestic disinformation playbook.

  • True or False: Work Practices of Professional Fact-Checkers

    Online misinformation is a critical societal threat . While fact-checking plays a role in combating the exponential rise of misinformation, little empirical research has been done on the work practices of professional fact-checkers and fact-checking organizations.

  • Unmasking “Clandestine,” the Figure Behind the Viral “Ukrainian Biolab” Conspiracy Theory

    “Clandestine,” the man behind the viral biolab conspiracy theory, has been identified as Jacob Creech, a self-described former restaurant manager and Army National Guard veteran living in rural Virginia. The discovery highlights how a fringe QAnon figure, harnessing the power of social media, sparked a viral conspiracy theory which, in just a few weeks, made its way from QAnon to the world stage, amplified by Tucker Carlson, extreme far-right activists, the Proud Boys, Steve Bannon – and even the Kremlin.

  • ‘Ukraine Biolabs’: How Attempts to Debunk a Conspiracy Theory Only Helped It Spread

    As Russian forces moved into Ukraine on 24 February, stories of U.S.-funded biolabs and bioweapon research in Ukraine began to spread on social media. The false claims spread from right-wing circles but became more wide-spread, and were soon picked up by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. It wasn’t long until the Russian government, which had spread tales of Ukrainian biolabs in the past, adopted the narrative as a belated justification for the invasion. But, ironically, the very effort to debunk the Russian propaganda promoted by Carlson and Russia only gave to story more oxygen.

  • Facebook Fails to Appropriately Label 80% of Bioweapon Conspiracy Articles n Its Platform

    Facebook failed to label 80 percent of articles on its service which promote conspiracy theories about U.S. labs in Ukraine and Ukraine’s supposed intent to use CBW against Russia.

  • Deepfakes and Fake News Pose a Growing Threat to Democracy: Experts

    Experts say that both fake news and deepfakes have the negative effect of delegitimizing real news. They say fake news and deepfakes decrease the amount of true information available, reduce consumers’ trust in authentic media, and put an added burden on fact-checkers to authenticate the vast amount of content online.

  • Five Fact-Checking Tips from Disinformation Experts

    Saturday, 2 April, was the International Fact Checking Day. The European Digital Media Observatory is an EU-wide platform to combat disinformation while protecting the core value of freedom of expression.

  • Ousting Putin: Popular Russian Blogger Calls for Armed Resistance, Sabotage

    More and more Russian opposition activists are calling for a more robust popular campaign to oust Putin, including armed resistance and acts of sabotage. These activists fear that if Putin is replaced by another member of the ruling elite, matters will not improve.

  • Russia’s Remaining Weapons Are Horrific and Confounding

    Along with concerns over the possible deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, the Biden administration is now warning that the Russian military may launch a chemical weapons attack in Ukraine. Harvard Kennedy School’s Matthew Bunn assesses threat, possible fallout of chemical attack in Ukraine, including the excruciating choices Biden and NATO would face.

  • Ukraine Offers Lessons for Russia’s 2024 Election Interference

    For all the media attention on the domestic political dimensions, the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections (and the 2018 midterms) included a significant focus on shaping U.S. policy toward Ukraine. Exerting influence on U.S. Ukraine policy Ukraine has long been a goal of Russian disinformation efforts, so American policymakers must prepare now for this influence effort to reemerge in 2024.

  • No Letup in Russian Influence Operations

    Moscow’s efforts to win over the world with its accounts of events in Ukraine are doing no better than Russia’s military forces inside Ukraine. More often than not, they are meeting with stiff resistance.

  • The Information War – How to Deal with Fake News and Misinformation

    Over the past few weeks, we have seen a growth in the use of the term ‘Information War’. The term, at first glance, would appear to be fairly innocuous: I mean, how hurtful or harmful could information actually be? However, as the conflict in Ukraine continues, we have seen the use of information take on a more powerful, weaponized status. We can help stop the spread of misinformation.

  • Russia Shows the Limits of Propaganda

    Beyond the outer fringes of Western politics, neither Russia’s contrived casus belli nor its wartime information operation have been taken seriously in Europe or America.

  • Ukraine: What Would a Russian Invasion Actually Look Like? These Are the Three Most Likely Scenarios

    Russia has been laying the ground for military action against Ukraine since 2014, when it seized Crimea and thereby gained a more substantial military foothold to the south. Meanwhile, the ongoing war in Ukraine’s Donbas region allowed Russian security and intelligence units to continue to gauge Ukrainian military and paramilitary operations. If military action does occur, there are three likely scenarios for how it would play out.