Open Source Report on Russian Social Media Disruption

"Part 7: Key takeaways
3. Information warfare is clearly, definitely, now ‘a thing.’ Anyone can pretend to be anyone else or anywhere.
4. “Lots of governments are doing it.”
5. Russian media outlet Vedomosti said in May 2014 that the techniques pioneered by the Russian government proved to be so successful at home after the mass protests that they exported them to the European and American markets.
8. Based on my research, there is a stunning lack of original reporting available on these topics which are of potentially grave international importance.
9. News outlets — even major “reputable” ones — seem to just be reporting on one another’s reporting. It’s a hall of mirrors all the way down. And it’s not just on this topic: it’s the whole news ecosystem.
10. Fake news and so-called ‘meme warfare’ aren’t some accident of our post-modern mainstream media, but the obvious through-line of technologies whose goal is to amorally propagate information regardless of quality or veracity.
11. Fact-checking as a counter to misinformation, disinformation, propaganda and fake news is not a fool-proof process. It is made all the more difficult when there are very few, or only obscured sources available to the public. (See #6)
12. I’m not crazy about what Wikileaks has done politically, but as a tool for organizing leaked documents for further research by members of the public, it’s exactly what is needed.
13. Fact-TRACKING may ultimately prevail over fact-checking. That is, in a world of dwindling original sources, and an endless multitude of rip-offs and copies, perhaps there is an epidemiological approach that could be applied to tracking the origin and distribution of blocks of information (e.g., “facts,” factoids, sound-bites, or memes for that matter). Blockchain for news, anyone?"


tags: information_warfare,russia,memetics,memes,interesting