“Humor rather than rumor.” Disinfo from Biowar. Russian disinformation seeks allies in the countries of the South. Tension between content moderation and free speech.

In one look.

  • Learning lessons from Ukraine’s influence operations.
  • Russian biological warfare claims.
  • Russian disinformation seeks allies in the countries of the South.
  • The US Senate hearings suggest an ongoing tension between content moderation and free speech.

Learning lessons from Ukraine’s influence operations.

Ukrainian influence operations, including controlling rumours, marketing and countering adversary messages, have been surprisingly successful, especially when compared to the heavy-handed tone and limited effect of the operations. information from the Russian opposition. Hybrid War watchers are looking for lessons to learn, and nowhere is the influence campaign more studied than in Taiwan. Taiwan and Ukraine are increasingly put on hold. Both have a large, powerful and hostile neighbor who views them as rebellious or at least separate provinces, and in the eyes of these large neighbors, conquest would be rectification, not aggression.

Taiwan has, Reuters reports, followed a “humor rather than rumor” approach to messaging as it has worked against Chinese misinformation about COVID-19, and it sees some confirmation in Ukraine’s experience that this remains a useful approach. Audrey Tang, Taipei’s digital affairs minister, told Reuters: “As we saw with the Ukrainian example, there are also people who even use comedy ideas, but certainly internet memes, to spread a message that unites the people”.

This phase of hybrid conflict between China and Taiwan is already underway, Tang said. “From my point of view, it’s my daily life. Already, the kind of propaganda as you call it, the kind of stories that are circulating on Twitter, that’s already what we face on a daily basis.”

Russian biological warfare claims.

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office tweeted last Wednesday“Russia has been spreading disinformation, including wild and inconsistent claims involving biological weapons, in an attempt to justify its aggression against Ukraine. Day 3 of the #1972BWC Article V consultative meeting, reserved for statements by other delegations. highlighted Russia’s biological weapons record as misinformation. Normal – Article X cooperation is demonized – which is dangerous for the Convention.”

Russian disinformation seeks allies in the countries of the South.

Russian propaganda seeks to blame food shortages on Ukraine and (especially) on the EU. The UK Ministry of Defense this weekend describe Recent Russian message: “On September 7, 2022, President Putin said that only 60,000 tons of grain exported from Ukraine since August had been sent to developing countries, and the majority had been delivered to EU states . Putin’s assertion is false. According to UN figures, around 30% was supplied to low- and middle-income countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. his invasion.”

The US Senate hearings suggest an ongoing tension between content moderation and free speech.

This week’s hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee (which included testimony from Twitter whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko) and the Senate Homeland Security Committee (featuring appearances from current and former executives of Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and other social media platforms) have taken up, among other things, issues of disinformation and misinformation. The Homeland Security Committee was particularly concerned about what a number of senators perceived as social media’s inability to adequately address content moderation. It is not simply the content of the messages, on which, according to the Committee, much of the platforms’ attention has been focused, but in the texts, which themselves can publish opinions that spread “from virally”, uncontrollably.

Mudge didn’t have much to say about content moderation, but he suggested to senators that such efforts were overseen by a corporate lawyer and, on the advice of his own lawyer, even a whistleblower should stay away from corporate counsel.