“Since disinformation is very systematic by nature, our response must also be systematic, not sporadic or project-based. We should admit that debunking fake news does not work,” stressed Dmitri Teperik, Chief Executive of the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS), at the Europe-Ukraine Forum 2019 “Ukraine After 2019: A Change or a Continuation?” in Rzeszow, Poland on 24–25 January.
Based on his research on Kremlin-led or inspired hostile disinformation against the Baltic states and Ukraine, Teperik presented proposals on how to respond to new threats and methods of hybrid war:
- invest more in conducting proper investigations to find more evidence
- demand that politicians be brave and call informational threats and their origins by their real names
- create a system of rewards and punishments in the field of information aggression
- investigate why particular kinds of social order and conformity seem to be more appealing to a segment of the population; they may be disillusioned over politics, apathetic to communication or cognitively blind
- protect societies by creating their own strong frame, myths, meanings and heroes, and do more to personify our own values. Values don’t speak for themselves, people do.
Teperik also emphasised that the West should not overestimate the effectiveness of Russia’s ideological, mental and physical suppression, but at the same time their ruthlessness should not be underestimated.
Continue reading about Russian disinformation, propaganda and media illiteracy on the ICDS blog at http://icds.ee/who-benefits-from-our-communications-illiteracy/