Russian disinformation campaigns

Alina Polyakova asks What do Russian disinformation campaigns look like, and how can we protect our elections?:

As technological capabilities progress, the threat of political warfare is becoming an even more serious threat to democratic elections. David M. Rubenstein Fellow Alina Polyakova analyzes past disinformation campaigns and political warfare tools employed by hostile foreign actors in Russia and elsewhere. She also discusses how these tactics are influencing U.S. midterm and other elections and what the U.S. can do to protect its electoral system.

  • One of the goals of Russian information warfare is to create a society in which we can’t tell the difference between fact and fiction.
  • The Russian government is becoming more sophisticated in mastering the tools of political warfare for the digital age. This includes the use of bots, trolls, microtargeting to spread disinformation.
  • The strategies are not new but the digital tools are.
  • Over the next few months we are going to see more disinformation campaigns, including fake websites that work together as a network to spread disinformation, fake personalities and entities on Twitter and Facebook, and manipulation of social media networks’ algorithms, including Google, YouTube, and others. And we’re not really paying enough attention to algorithmic manipulation.
  • The more frightening development that we are likely to see in the next 12-16 months is the use of artificial intelligence to enhance the tools of political warfare.

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