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Journalism New Media Social Media CSS Blog

Preferred News Sources of the Russian Population

This graphic depicts the preferred news sources for the Russian population to know news from their country and the world between 2009 and 2020.

For more on Media Capture in Russia, the control of business and state actors over mass media, the mass walkout of all leading editorial staff of the business newspaper Vedomosti, and Russia’s take on social media read the latest Russian Analytical Digest here.

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Security Technology CSS Blog

The Weaponisation of Synthetic Media: What Threat Does this Pose to National Security?

Image courtesy of geralt/Pixabay

This article was originally published by the Elcano Royal Institute on 14 July 2020.

Theme

The weaponisation of hyper-realistic synthetic video, audio, images, or texts –generally known as of synthetic media– may affect national security. How and to what extent?

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Social Media Health

Addressing the Coronavirus Infodemic

Image courtesy of Tim Dennell/Flickr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Atlantic Council on 16 March 2020.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread around the globe, the World Health Organization (WHO) has outlined a different type of outbreak to be concerned about. As information on the virus deluges traditional and social media, the WHO warns that societies around the world are facing an “infodemic”—an “overabundance” of information that makes it difficult for people to identify truthful and trustworthy sources from false or misleading ones.

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Terrorism

Reducing Press Attention to Reduce Terrorism?

Image courtesy of AndyLeungHK/pixabay.com

This article was originally published by Political Violence @ a Glance on 1 May 2019.

The Easter morning attack in Sri Lanka reminds us that, when it comes to terrorism, governments often want to reduce the amount of media attention attackers receive. This is why the Sri Lankan government initially withheld the names of the attackers who killed nearly 300 and injured many more. The desire to deny perpetrators publicity is also why New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden publicly refused to utter the name of the gunman who killed fifty people attending mosques in Christchurch. A similar impulse can be seen in US President Barack Obama’s attempt to downplay the threat from ISIS by calling them the “jayvee team.”

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Security

Fighting Disinformation in the Baltic States

Image courtesy of Justien Val Zele/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) on 6 July 2017.

Russian media played a key role in stoking the conflict in Ukraine, sparking fear in the Baltic states that they could become the next target. In the wake of the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, Russian state-owned media shaped a nationalistic narrative regarding the annexation of Crimea that spread fear of the new Ukrainian regime and promoted reunification with Russia. Russian media also encouraged the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine and spread multiple false news stories intended to portray Ukraine in the most negative light possible.

In the current media environment, it is not possible to eliminate questionable or false sources of information. In the Baltic states, attempts to do so could backfire by reinforcing allegations that the Russian minorities lack full civil rights. However, encouraging independent media and thoughtful integration of Russian-language programming into mainstream sources will provide more credible alternatives for Baltic Russian speakers. In the longer term, an important tool for all countries facing propaganda and “fake news” is to increase education in media literacy, critical reading, and technical training to thwart hacks and other attempts to hijack information. A population trained to identify bias is the best defense against harmful propaganda.