There have been many attempts to give a precise definition of influence operations, none of which we find completely satisfactory. For purposes of the GIOR, we generally consider an influence operation to be any organized attempt by a state or transnational actor to non-transparently influence public opinion and/or public policy and aimed at a democratic country. Open and transparent operations such as those conducted by state media do not fall into this category although they certainly can be viewed as propaganda.
What are influence operations?
Why is there is a need for the Global Influence Operations Report?
We consider the rise of state-sponsored and transnational influence to be the most profound threat facing the West as it seeks to counter the flood of disinformation that is making rational discussion of public policy increasingly difficult if not impossible. There are scores of publications reporting on influence operations but none which seem to cover the subject on a daily basis and none which have the scope of the GIOR which also includes transnational Islamist networks such as the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The GIOR provides a daily, chronological account, free from polemics and backed up with solid, generally public information and presented with historical and other explanatory context.
Why was the United States included?
The US is unique among democratic countries at this point in time because it is the only democratic country that is known to have its own government and/or a major political party conducting influence operations directed at its own citizens. This looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Why were these particular countries/networks selected for coverage?
While those chosen by GIOR for coverage are certainly not the only actors conducting influence operations, we selected the ones that we feel represent the greatest threat to democratic countries. The threat was evaluated in terms of both the nature of the threat and the resources available to the particular actor to conduct influence operations.
What is the connection between the Global Influence Operations Report and the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch?
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) was an earlier publication of the GIOR Senior Editor that operated from June 2007 until October 2020. Given the escalating threat posed by influence operations, it was deemed necessary to adopt a broader perspective and that the Global Muslim Brotherhood was best viewed as an influence operation itself. The GMBDW will remain live for as long as possible as a historical archive and is searchable either on the GMBDW site or from the GIOR search page if necessary.
Who has editorial control of the Global Influence Operations Report?
The GIOR is the creation of its Senior Editor who has sole editorial control of its content.
How can I support the work of the Global Influence Operations Report?
The most straightforward way of supporting the GIOR is by making donations that can be made by clicking here or by clicking on the donation button on the home page and in the right-hand column. Any amount will be gratefully accepted and all donations are securely handled by PayPal and can be made either with a PayPal account or with all major credit cards. Names of contributors will never be publicly disclosed nor shared with anybody else at any time nor for any reason. You can also help by feeling free to send us any developments that you become aware of and that you would think fit into our outlook and coverage. Most valued are local developments that we might never come across on our own. Please use the contact form for this purpose. Anything done to further inform the world of our existence would also be of great service. So, feel free to share our postings via email, Twitter, Facebook, or by any means you see fit. There is a Share toolbar at the bottom of every post to assist you if needed.