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Date TimeAugust 19, 2019
VoiceAs countries and companies line up to enter the disinformation business, privacy has to be reclaimedCommunication has been weaponised, used to provoke, mislead and influence the public in numerous insidious ways. Disinformation was just the first stage of an evolving trend of using information to subvert democracy, confuse rival states, define the narrative and control public opinion. Using the large, unregulated, open environments that tech companies once promised would “empower” ordinary people, disinformation has spread rapidly across the globe. The power that tech companies offered us has become a priceless tool in propagandists’ hands, who were right in thinking that a confused, rapidly globalising world is more vulnerable to the malleable beast of disinformation than straightforward propaganda. Whatever we do, however many fact-checking initiatives we undertake, disinformation shows no sign of abating. It just mutates.
The weaponisation of information is mutating at alarming speed | Sophia Ignatidou
While initially countries that were seasoned propagandists, such as Russia and North Korea, were identified as the main culprits, the list of states employing disinformation is growing. China is apparently using disinformation to portray Hong Kong protesters as proxies of nefarious western powers and violent rioters, potentially to prepare the ground for more violent intervention to suppress the movement. India has been the host of constant disinformation campaigns, either ahead of the most recent elections or during the current standoff with Pakistan over Kashmir. Lobbying and PR firms have now professionalised online disinformation, as the cases of Sir Lynton Crosby’s CTF Partners in the UK and the troll farms in the Philippines indicate.

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