The European Liberal Forum (ELF), the official political foundation of the European Liberal Party, has recently published a policy paper examining the effect of Russian information operations. The paper argues that Russian information operations should not be viewed either as ineffective or given too much weight but that they do lead to a deterioration in the quality of democratic politics. According to the paper’s abstract:
November 2021 Information operations are critical for Russia’s strategy against the West. Russia is unlikely to overpower the West through its military strength, but its information operations hold an almost unlimited promise of increasing polarization, and undermining Western unity. Nonetheless, there is a burgeoning belief that information operations are not a major problem due to the lack of measurable effects of them. Correctly understanding how information operations are effective are critical for countering them adequately. This brief aim to contribute to this knowledge by surveying what we know about the effectiveness of information operations and suggesting recommendations on how to improve democracies’ information resilience.
Read the full paper here.
The ELF paper suggests the following policy recommendations to decrease the vulnerability to information operations:
- Increase media literacy, fact-checking, and media monitoring
- Put pressure on social platforms to moderate content
- Improve data privacy protection
- Reduce fake accounts by using digital identity verification
- Flagging fake news and prioritizing trusted sources